McDonald’s, the world’ largest burger chain operator is facing a civil rights lawsuit filed by former employees alleging racial discrimination and sexual harassment at three restaurants run by a franchisee.
Details of the allegations against McDonald’s
Nine African-American workers and one Hispanic worker filed the lawsuit against McDonald’s at the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
The complainants alleged that company simultaneously fire more than a dozen black workers “who didn’t fit the profile” desired at its restaurants last May. According to the workers, they were wrongfully terminated.
Willie Betts, one of the complainants said in a statement, “All of a sudden, they let me go, for no other reason than I didn’t ‘fit the profile’ they wanted at the store. I had no idea what they meant by the right profile, until I saw everyone else that they fired, as well.”
A high-ranking manager told McDonald’s workers that it was “too dark” in the restaurants and they “need to get the ghetto out of the store,” according to the lawsuit. The Service Employees International Union is supporting the lawsuit. The union has been pushing for higher wages for workers at McDonald’s.
The workers also claimed that their supervisors at three restaurants subjected them to “rampant racial and sexual harassment.” A franchisee named, Michael Simon operates the restaurants.
The workers emphasized the inappropriate actions of the restaurant supervisors in the lawsuit. According to them, one of the supervisors called black workers as “ghetto” and “bitch.” The supervisor even suggested having oral sex with employees.
The workers also claimed that another supervisor described a Hispanic worker a “dirty Mexican” and “hot Mexican.” They alleged that the supervisor inappropriately touched employees and sent photos of his genitals to some workers.
Discrimination is completely inconsistent with McDonald’s values
According to the workers, they tried to reach out to the corporate office of McDonald’s Corporation regarding their complaints, but the company did not take any action.
Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s said she cannot comment on the allegation citing the reason that the company has not seen the lawsuit.
McComb emphasized that McDonalds has a long-standing history of embracing the diversity of employees, independent franchisees, customers and suppliers. She added that “discrimination “completely inconsistent” with the values of the company.
“McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants,” said McComb.