Workers from 30 cities are planning a protest against McDonald’s this Thursday, in an attempt to draw attention to the 15 different cases of sexual harassment filed against the company with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in just the past month. The complaints come from California, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, New York, and generally allege that in addition to facing harassment on the job, they were retaliated against for complaining.
The Guardian reports that it’s up to the EEOC to decide if McDonald’s should be held jointly responsible for the harassment taking place at its franchise stores, though it is already named as “joint employer” on all the complaints. And they’re pretty terrible complaints! For example CyCei Monet, a woman who worked in a location in Flint, MI, says her supervisor rubbed his genitals on her and talked explicitly about what he’d like to do to her sexually. She reported him to both her store manager and the McDonald’s corporate office:
“McDonald’s monitors everything we do – from how fast the drive-thru is moving, to how we fold our customers’ bags. Yet when I filed a complaint against my shift manager for regularly sexually harassing me – which included him showing me a photo of his genitals – McDonald’s had no response,” said Monet.
Monet said that she quit because of the incessant harassment.“I really needed that job and the money, and I considered remaining silent. But I believed McDonald’s had my back and would be horrified by the way I was treated. I was wrong,” she said.
McDonald’s supposedly has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, but workers say that it is rarely enforced and their interests remain unprotected by a union. In statement, McDonald’s rep Terri Hickey responded to the allegations and planned protest, saying:
At McDonald’s, we and our independent owner-operators share a deep commitment to the respectful treatment of everyone. There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in McDonald’s restaurants or in any workplace. We take any concerns seriously and are reviewing the allegations.