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Sexual Harassment of Employees a Serious Problem at McDonald's Restaurants

Workplace sexual harassment prevention

The numbers tell a story of unspeakable working conditions for women who work at McDonald's. An April 2020 study of 782 female workers reported by The Nation found two-thirds reported multiple forms of harassment. The breakdown:

  • Half were subjected to sexual comments.
  • Half received sexually suggestive looks or gestures.
  • A third were touched, groped, or fondled.
  • 29 percent were asked to have sex with a coworker.
  • 22 percent were offered more hours, a promotion, or another benefit in exchange for dates or sex.
  • 19 percent received threats for refusing to date or have sex with a coworker.
  • 12 percent were sexually assaulted or raped.
  • Just 20 percent reported no problems at their restaurant.

As a result of ongoing problems, McDonald’s employees have filed over 50 lawsuits against the company, as well as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints and a class action lawsuit. An international complaint alleges “rampant” sexual harassment issues at McDonald’s restaurants in both the United States and other countries.

How Did McDonald’s Respond to the Study?

McDonald’s answered with a statement that said: “The crew and managers are the heart and soul of every McDonald’s restaurant, and McDonald’s and its franchisees are dedicated to ensuring that their work environment is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

The statement also noted that the chain offers workplace training to prevent harassment.

But employees say McDonald’s does not do enough to address and prevent harassment. They report receiving little or no training, and say company policies are unclear on handling complaints. After the chain announced a new training program for corporate-owned locations, just one-third of workers say they witnessed any training in the workplace. The survey, in fact, said 71 percent of women who reported harassment faced retaliation through firings, denial of raises and promotions, or a cut in hours.

How Can You Stand Up for Your Rights?

One of the biggest problems with any sexual harassment complaint is that it often comes down to the word of the victim against the word of the perpetrator. In the case of a worldwide business giant like McDonald’s, the company has a team of lawyers that can stall proceedings and pull legal tricks that obscure the real issues. In the meantime, a complainant may still be suffering harassment on the job, is subject to retaliation, or becomes unemployed and unable to pay their bills.

The Salt Lake City workplace sexual harassment lawyers at Andrus Law Firm have been handling complaints for decades. We are familiar with the legal issues, as well as the personal stigma of sexual harassment, and will address your case with a personal touch that includes aggressively protecting your rights. We will find a settlement that fits your individual needs. Contact us today for a free case consultation.

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