A recent survey found that 40 percent of female fast-food workers had experienced sexual harassment on the job. McDonald’s, the largest of the fast-food empires, is no exception, and now two advocacy organizations are suing them on behalf of 10 workers. The women worked at McDonald’s franchises in nine cities. The two organizations are Fight for $15, established to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers, and the National Women’s Law Center’s TIMES UP Legal Defense Fund. Thanks to Time’s Up, each of the 10 women are represented by an attorney.
The women filing the complaint alleged they were subjected to lewd comments by supervisors, sexual propositions, indecent exposure, and groping. The complaints state that reporting the incidents led to them being ignored and mocked, along with retaliation in some instances. An attorney for the women said some of them had to choose between bringing home a paycheck and standing up for their rights. She added that undocumented workers are especially afraid of speaking out and fear deportation.
The Complaint Filed
The complaint was filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The complaint names McDonald’s and the owners of the individual franchises where the alleged sexual harassment took place. Fight for $15 named McDonald’s in the complaint in conjunction with its efforts to hold the parent company responsible for employment and wage problems at their franchises.
The advocacy organizations support mandatory training sessions for McDonald’s managers and workers on sexual harassment with the idea of forming an effective system for reporting such complaints. Fight for $15 has already established a hotline that employees can use to have their complaints reviewed by lawyers.
McDonald’s Issues a Response
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said the company takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously. She said there is no place for any type of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The representative said the company is confident that 90 percent of its 14,000 franchises also take such allegations seriously. There was no elaboration on why McDonald’s may think that 10 percent of its franchisees do not take sexual harassment allegations seriously.
Two years ago, Fight for $15 filed similar sexual harassment claims against McDonald’s, and the company agreed to review the situation. The spokesperson did not say whether there had been any proactive efforts to change policies to lessen such harassments after the review.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form to get started. We are in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.