USA: McDonald's workers file $500m sexual harassment lawsuit

Author: BBC, Published on: 18 April 2020

Two McDonald's employees in Florida have filed a $500m (£400m) class action lawsuit, accusing the fast food giant of fostering "systemic sexual harassment". Jamelia Fairley and Ashley Reddick are named on behalf of some 5,000 women from over 100 US McDonald's outlets... "McDonald's has always been committed to ensuring that our employees are able to work in an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment," the company said in a statement.

... The suit... centres on a particular McDonald's restaurant near Orlando, Florida, and alleges "extensive illegal harassment that went ignored by management". The plaintiffs say that numerous women were subject to "pervasive sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, including groping, sexual assault and sexually-charged comments."... Ms Fairley... claims she was harassed by two colleagues... Ms Fairley reported the behaviour, she says, and had her hours cut as a consequence of speaking up... Ms Reddick... also allegedly faced verbal and physical harassment from a male co-worker... Ms Reddick says she told her managers and was fired as a result.

... Ms Reddick said "This is a nation-wide problem, the company has known about it for years and we won't stop speaking out until McDonald's listens to us."... McDonald's has said that it updated its discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation policy and training in January 2019 and says it offers a free hotline to call with any "employment concerns".

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Related companies: McDonald's