McDonald’s workers across the country have filed a series of federal complaints against the fast food giant, alleging an array of sexual harassment on the job.
Fifteen complaints, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at both corporate and franchise stores over the last month, claim workers alerted general managers and corporate staff after experiencing sexual harassment on the job, but their complaints went unnoticed or, in some cases, were met with retaliation.
According to the complaints, the harassment ranged from groping to lewd comments to offers of cash in exchange for sexual favors, often by managers.
“As the country’s second-largest employer, McDonald’s has a responsibility to set standards in both the fast-food industry and the economy overall,” Kendall Fells, organizing director of the Fight for $15, said in a statement. “Cooks and cashiers are going to keep on joining together, speaking out and taking every step possible to make sure McDonald’s follows its own policies and gets sexual harassment off of the menu.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said the fast food chain is reviewing the allegations and takes the concerns “seriously.”
“At McDonald’s, we and our independent owner-operators share a deep commitment to the respectful treatment of everyone,” spokesperson Terri Hickey said in a statement. “There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in McDonald’s restaurants or in any workplace.”
Workers said in a video posted Wednesday that they have planned a wave of lunchtime rush hour protests last Thursday at restaurants in three dozen cities.
In addition to demanding the company enforce its zero-tolerance police against sexual harassment, they plan to carry signs reading “McDonald’s, I’m Not on the Menu” and “McDonald’s, Put Some Respect in My Check.”