Employment Discrimination Blog

Sunday, July 14, 2019

McDonald’s Faces 25 New Filings of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What Are the grounds for sexual harassment at work?

Mega-corporation McDonald’s, which boasts nearly 14,000 restaurants in the United States alone, has been hit with 25 different lawsuits and complaints alleging sexual harassment in recent months.  The disturbing lawsuits allege sexual harassment among workers as young as 16 years old. This is not the first time that McDonald’s has found itself in the midst of sexual harassment allegations. Our Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys discuss the new claims against McDonald’s and what grounds an employee must assert to have a claim for sexual harassment.

McDonald’s Employees Claim They Are Not Protected 

McDonald’s has a history of sexual harassment among its employees. In 2018, McDonald’s workers across the country went on a one-day strike to protest sexual harassment occurring within the chain.  As the second largest employer in the world, McDonald’s has been accused of not ensuring its employees are protected from abuse. One employee out of Florida came forward to shed light on the abuse she suffered working at McDonald’s, which included unwanted touching by co-workers and wildly inappropriate sexual comments.  

In sum, over 50 charges and lawsuits have been filed by McDonald’s employees within the last three years. These lawsuits demonstrate that despite the illegality of sexual harassment and strong laws, sexual harassment appears to be continuing. Now, organizations that advocate for sexual harassment victims are pushing for large employers like McDonald’s to do more, including enforcing zero tolerance policies and enacting training for managers and employees to prevent the ongoing cycle of sexual harassment in the workplace.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Many employees fail to recognize that they are the victims of sexual harassment at work due to the complex nature of sexual harassment.  It is important for all employees to recognize exactly what actions constitute as sexual harassment. A wide range of actions and words can constitute sexual harassment, including:  non-consensual sexual acts, abusive sexual contact, threats of sexual violence, and a hostile work environment.

Conduct that could create a hostile work environment includes constant sexual comments, sexual jokes, and other pervasive undertones. Sexual harassment also includes quid pro quo harassment, which involves a superior requiring a sexual act in exchange for a raise, promotion, or avoidance of termination or punishment.  Anyone who suspects they have become the victim of sexual harassment at work should contact an employment discrimination lawyer for more assistance.

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