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McDonald’s Sued for Workplace Sexual Harassment

McDonald’s Corporation is being sued by Michigan workers with claims of sexual harassment and a toxic work environment. The lawsuit alleges a lack of training against sexual harassment in the workplace, retaliation when complaints were reported and cites the recent firing of McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook for engaging in an improper relationship with an employee.

This is the first class action lawsuit filed against McDonald’s. About 50 complaints around sexual harassment has been made by workers in the last three years. The fast food giant’s acknowledged the allegations and said in a statement it is implementing safe workplace training at its corporate owned restaurants and encourages their franchises to do the same. They added, “There is a deeply important conversation around safe and respectful workplaces in communities around the U.S. and around the world.”

About 95% of the restaurants are franchised and workers complain there is not enough encouragement from the corporation to improve training at the franchises. The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of women who worked at the Mason, Michigan restaurant the last three years, seeks improved training, protections for employees and $5 million in damages.

The Realist Woman’s take:

McDonald’s has no excuses on this one. They can absolutely implement a no tolerance policy for sexual harassment in their restaurants, franchised or not. 

I hope this lawsuit forces them to take sexual harassment of their employees seriously. I want these women to get more than they asked for and for policies against sexual harassment to be a top priority for all of their restaurants. This boils down to gender inequality. Men, whether in positions of power or not, feel entitled to women's attention and women's bodies. It's all of part of toxic masculinity and the enabling of that behavior since the beginning of time. Slowly but surely women making noise on this issue, fighting the good fight and new policies implemented have led the way to change for women in the workplace and women overall.