McDonald's Workers Are Speaking Up About Harassment In The Workplace

Workers at McDonald's restaurants are once again coming forward with claims of sexual harassment, and retaliation from management for filing reports. The Guardian reported that these allegations have continued despite claims of positive changes being made in the company's structure. In 2020, The Nation noted that as far back as 2015, the fast food giant has been dealing with a substantial number of sexual abuse claims against employees at its stores. 

These complaints later led to a nationwide strike by employees, and dozens of legal cases brought forward in response. The abuse was not limited to the U.S. either. According to The Guardian, an international coalition of labor unions accused McDonald's of "systemic sexual harassment" of its employees in 2020. The Nation also recently reported that despite claims made by McDonald's, there have been no meaningful changes made by the company. 

Employees have continued to hold five additional strikes regarding sexual harassment in recent years, and new legal cases are still being brought forward against the franchise giant, per Forbes. The Nation notes that in 2020, McDonald's was one of the biggest employers in America with more than 800,000 employees at the time, though they have had staffing shortages in recent years.

Sexual harassment allegedly persists in McDonald's restaurants

The Guardian reported that McDonald's continues to face legal cases in regards to sexual harassment against their employees. One of the most recent filings comes from a female employee named Rosalia Manuel in San Jose, California. She claims that she was fired unjustly after reporting an alleged act of sexual harassment committed by a male co-worker, who was related to one of their manager's. 

Not much later, both Manuel and the abuse victim were terminated for unrelated reasons, and have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Manuel was allegedly fired for not taking a mandated break earlier in her shift. She had worked at McDonald's for 24 years.

"McDonald's has been clear that sexual harassment will not be tolerated," said a company spokesperson in an email to The Guardian. "Everyone who works under the Arches should be able to confidently show up to work each day in a place that is safe, respectful and inclusive. As announced in 2021, McDonald's is requiring Global Brand Standards at all restaurants worldwide effective January 1, 2022, to reinforce our commitment to these values."

A legal case alleging sexual harassment was settled as recently as July, per Reuters. An operator of 10 McDonald's locations in New England settled the case by agreeing to pay $1.6 million.