McDonald's slammed with 3 new sexual-harassment lawsuits as workers say the fast-food giant failed to protect them on the job
- McDonald's workers have filed three new sexual-harassment lawsuits in recent weeks.
- The most recent was filed by Delisha Rivers, alleging
McDonald'sfailed to offer support when her manager attempted to pressure her into sexual acts in exchange for cash and a raise.
- "Our values drive our policies, including comprehensive safe and respectful workplace trainings that make clear our expectations for every person who works under the Arches," McDonald's said in a statement.
Workers at franchised McDonald's locations in St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Kansas City, Missouri, have filed lawsuits against the company in recent weeks alleging sexual assault and harassment. The most recent case was filed Thursday morning by a woman named Delisha Rivers.Rivers alleges that a manager attempted to pressure her into sexual acts in exchange for cash and a raise when she was a shift leader at a McDonald's in early 2019. The complaint says she began facing retaliation at work after rejecting his advances.
In February 2019, Rivers quit her job at McDonald's after facing what she calls unjustified criticism for things such as not speaking loudly enough, wearing the wrong color of shirt, and insubordination. It was a difficult process. With five children ages 2 to 9, Rivers said, she was forced to change her childcare routine, with her kids sitting in the lobby as she worked the night shift at her new job.Rivers said she didn't feel as if McDonald's cared, because if it did, she said, "I'm pretty sure these franchise owners would be more aware and more careful about what goes on in their stores." Read more: Del Taco will pay more than $1 million to settle a sexual-harassment lawsuit. It's just the tip of the iceberg for a growing problem plaguing restaurant workers
McDonald's introduced a new hotline in 2019 that allows workers to anonymously express concerns and report harassment. The company said in a statement that it did not tolerate sexual harassment and that the company or franchisees reviewed the facts when concerns were raised in restaurants.
"Our values drive our policies, including comprehensive safe and respectful workplace trainings that make clear our expectations for every person who works under the Arches," McDonald's said in a statement. "McDonald's franchisees share our commitment to being responsible partners to our communities, and we make versions of these trainings available as a resource to them."
Accusations of failing to support workersThe two other sexual-harassment lawsuits filed in recent weeks similarly allege workers were not offered sufficient training or support in situations in which they described facing sexual harassment.
Barbara Johnson said she faced sexual harassment while working at a McDonald's in St. Louis as a homeless teenager in 2018. Johnson said a manager and another coworker verbally harassed her on the job, with the manager grabbing her breasts on what ended up being her last shift.
"Barbara felt sick to her stomach. She clocked out and went home before her shift ended," said the complaint, filed in December. "Barbara felt she had no choice but to quit.""She could not go back to the store," the complaint continued, after the manager assaulted her.
The complaint said she reported the abuse to her kitchen manager and to two shift managers."None of these managers did anything to help Ms. Rodriguez, and the harassment continued," the complaint said.
Rivers told Insider that the company's failure to take action when she attempted to report harassment was part of a wider pattern of McDonald's failing workers."They really don't care," Rivers said. "I've missed funerals working at McDonald's. I've missed a lot of stuff. I went in sick. They don't care as long as you're there."
McDonald's is attempting to double down on valuesFlorida McDonald's workers filed a $500 million sexual-harassment lawsuit against the company in 2020. A year prior, Michigan McDonald's workers filed a complaint alleging fast-food giant failed to address a "systemic problem" of harassment. Over the past four years, McDonald's employees have filed more than 50 sexual-harassment complaints.
In addition to the hotline, McDonald's rolled out a new training program to address harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence in 2019.
McDonald's has publicly reemphasized corporate values under CEO Chris Kempczinski, who was promoted to chief executive in late 2019.Read more: McDonald's HR looks into new training and hiring processes to emphasize corporate values, as the fast-food giant faces controversies
Kempczinski's predecessor, Steve Easterbrook, was terminated after an investigation into the CEO's relationship with a subordinate. In August, McDonald's sued Easterbrook, alleging that he covered up three additional sexual relationships with employees at the fast-food chain.
- IMF projects 11.5% growth rate for India in 2021, only major economy to record double digit growth
- Connaught Place to remain shut as farmers' tractor parade turns violent
- After violent clashes with police, farmers swarm Red Fort
- DMRC closed entry and exit gates of yellow, green, violet and blue lines in surge of farmers protest
- Delhi Police fires tear-gas shells on farmers near Akshardham temple and Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar