McDonald’s Employees Bring Sexual Harassment Claims Against the Franchise
Both men and women working for famous American franchises have exposed hostile work environments and sexual harassment cases in the fast-food industry. Most of them are low-wage workers that often keep their heads down instead of addressing their concerns with an employer. But, why?
Most workers who report harassment or file a claim with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) face wrongful termination, get transferred, or see a cut in hours and pay. Speaking up about sexual misconduct poses more trouble for employees than it should.
Many factors contribute to hostile working conditions in the fast-food industry, including:
Young employees – most restaurant employees are women working in low-level positions. Many of the women are slightly younger than their manager (usually male).
“The customer is always right” – This is a common and frequent phrase that often deters upper management from reprimanding the customer and standing up against harassment.
Men typically hold managerial positions – They often exert dominance over any female subordinates.
Compensation – In the restaurant industry, employees rely on tips. That also deters workers from speaking up and managers from intervening when a customer makes sexual advances.
Hundreds of lawsuits and complaints have gotten filed against McDonald’s over the years. In February, four women came forward addressing similar accounts of relentless behaviors among co-workers. In a report published by CBS News, Emily Anibal recounted her experience.
“He would make comments on my body and other workers’ bodies, saying, like, ‘I would have sex with you, I wouldn’t have sex with her,” Anibal told the CBS reporter.
Alongside Anibal were three other women: Jamelia Fairley, Kat Barber, and Kimberly Lawson.
Lawson told CBS News that “It kind of made me feel isolated. I thought I was the only one this is happening to right now; you know what I’m saying? So, I just felt, like, completely alone.”
In a survey conducted over the last year, nearly 800 McDonald’s employees responded they got harassed at work and suffered from retaliation for coming forward. Supervisors and general managers turned away. Even those who witnessed such actions failed to intervene. When this happens, it is imperative to seek legal help from an employment attorney in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, in the franchise industry, corporations often avoid taking responsibility. They control the entire operation, so their inability to act and instill safe working conditions is enough for us to establish negligence and fault.
At Mann & Elias, we always encourage employees to file a formal complaint should they experience sexual harassment in California. Our attorney will safeguard your rights to ensure that you remain protected from further misconduct and employment violations.