According to an article in The Cut — a New York Media publication — several current and former McDonald's employees have come forward to speak out against sexual harassment, which has reportedly run rampant in the company.
One McDonald's employee said that after being promoted to a low-level management position, she began experiencing explicit sexual harassment from another employee — that reportedly occurred in front of the restaurant's general manager. She recalls feeling "miserable going to work every day." After repeatedly asking her supervisor to address the sexual harassment or let her transfer to another restaurant, she, instead, was ridiculed. Her work hours were even cut.
It took roughly a year and a half for the employee to be transferred to another restaurant. Meanwhile, her harasser was still employed by McDonald's.
The employee reports witnessing sexual harassment aimed at other workers dating back to when she first started working at McDonald's. Some of the harassment consisted of inappropriate touching, as well as inappropriate talking back and forth. When the harassment started being aimed at her, she reports experiencing being inappropriately grabbed, being called derogatory words, and being told she is terrible at her job.
'Humiliating and intimidating work environment'
After reporting the harassment multiple times, her supervisor would treat the incidents as no big deal. When management talked to the perpetrator about it, the harassment only grew worse. Eventually, she was transferred to another McDonald's but was paid less and worked fewer hours.
Another employee who came forward against McDonald's said she worked there for no more than a month when she was 15 years old. She described it as a "humiliating and intimidating work environment." She recalls experiencing sexual harassment from two individuals, both of whom made grossly sexual comments aimed at her. She asked to change shifts, but within two weeks, she was placed back on the same shift with her harassers. The employee reports not receiving any sexual harassment training from McDonald's and not being provided with a number to call to report it. She felt that she had no other choice than to quit.
Just the tip of the iceberg
These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past couple of years, an increasing number of employees have been taking action against McDonald's due to its rampant problem with sexual harassment. Hundreds of employees across several states walked off the job last fall to take part in a strike against sexual harassment. Currently, there are more than 50 claims and charges pending against McDonald's.
As a result of national scrutiny, McDonald's began instituting anti-harassment policies within the past year. These included an anonymous reporting hotline and sexual harassment training for employees. McDonald's tells The Cut that the company is now implementing “safe and respectful workplace training in 100% of [the] corporate-owned restaurants.”
Currently, the franchisees own roughly 95 percent of all McDonald's restaurants in the United States. They are, however, not required to offer sexual harassment training. The company reportedly seeks to change that in the future.
Sexual harassment victims have legal rights and options that must be upheld
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment at work, call us. You can't always rely on your management or human resources department to resolve the issue. The Salt Lake City sexual harassment attorneys at Andrus Law Firm, LLC have seen the damaging effects of workplace sexual harassment. Far too many perpetrators have been let off the hook.
Our legal team is dedicated to finding justice for sexual harassment victims. We hold perpetrators — and those responsible for stopping the harassment — accountable. To find out how we can help you, contact our law firm and schedule your free consultation.