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McDonald’s and Franchisees Hit with Sexual Harassment Complaints

McDonald's Pays $26 Million to Settle Wage Lawsuit in California

A union-backed group has filed complaints on behalf of 15 U.S. McDonald’s workers who say they were sexually harassed on the job. According to a CNBC news report, the group Fight for $15, which has organized strikes and protests calling for employers to raise wages said it filed the administrative complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against McDonald’s USA and individual franchisees in eight states over the last month.

One complaint is from a female employee in Flint, Michigan, who said a manager showed her a picture of his genitals and said he wanted to “do things” to her. She said corporate officials ignored her complaints. In another complaint, a worker in Folsom, California, said a supervisor offered her $1,000 for oral sex. Thirteen of the complaints were from women, and two from men. McDonald’s has not yet responded to these complaints.

Is the Company Responsible?

Most of the complaints filed on behalf of employees involved sexual harassment that occurred at franchised restaurants that McDonald’s does not own. But, all of them say the company is responsible for the harassment because it controls working conditions there. McDonald’s is also facing a class-action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco by 800 workers at several franchised restaurants who say they are owed overtime pay and were forced to skip breaks. McDonald’s has denied that it is a “joint employer,” a designation that could render it liable for labor law violations by franchisees.

Protecting Your Rights

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment at the workplace includes instances of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It amounts to sexual harassment when such conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

If you have suffered sexual harassment on the job, you have the right to file a complaint without retaliation or the threat of retaliation. You may be able to seek and obtain compensation for damages including lost current and future wages and emotional distress. An experienced California employment attorney will not only be able to fight for your rights and help you secure compensation for your losses, but also hold the employer accountable and hopefully, future harassment at the organization

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