McDonald’s has been hit with a new set of claims from employees that claim they were sexually harassed by co-workers and managers. These complaints came one day after the announcement of the fast-food chain’s new anti-harassment policies were announced.
The lawsuits allege that the workers were subjected to sexual harassment at McDonald’s corporate locations and franchise restaurants in 20 cities around the country. The alleged harassment includes instances of groping and indecent exposure, attempted sexual assault, sexual propositions and inappropriate comments. Various employees also claim that their complaints of the harassment were met with retaliation, resulting in lowered hours and hostile work environments.
“The charges also explain that when they sought assistance from management their complaints were ignored or treated as a joke, and some suffered reduced hours, unwarranted discipline and even termination,” said a representative of the workers. “The McDonald’s workers’ demands are simple: Workers want an effective system to foster a respectful workplace and to protect workers from sexual harassment and abuse.”
The latest EEOC charges and lawsuits were filed with financial assistance from the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, along with legal support from the ACLU and the Fight for $15 campaign. These new lawsuits come on the heels of a nation-wide walk-out strike last year where workers at McDonald’s restaurants in 10 cities across the U.S. walked out over claims that the fast food chain’s sexual harassment policies are inadequate. McDonald’s has been dealing sexual harassment claims since 2016, and the momentum from the #MeToo movement has helped spread awareness of the allegations of these McDonald’s workers.