Sexual harassment remains a challenge in many California workplaces. Even though a far greater level of attention is paid to the problem, workers are still victimized. Lower-wage employees and those in the service industry are especially vulnerable. To make matters worse, some workers complain to management and are rebuffed in efforts to stop the behavior. One recent case in which two women who worked at McDonald’s alleged sexual harassment has resulted in a class action lawsuit.
The women worked at a corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurant in Florida. They assert that they were both sexually harassed and that this sparked the filing. One woman was fired from her job at the restaurant. The other still works for the company. The first woman says that she was inappropriately touched, subjected to sex-based comments and terminated for complaining. The other employee says she was also groped and harassed. When she told supervisors and a general manager what was happening, nothing was done. The alleged perpetrator faced no repercussions. The employee was not terminated, but her work hours were significantly reduced.
The class action lawsuit was filed in Chicago. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation from corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurants in Florida and asking for $500 million. In November 2019, another class action lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s due to sexual harassment in Michigan. McDonald’s claims that it has a comprehensive policy to prevent sexual harassment by training workers and giving victims avenues to report wrongdoing. The company itself can only be sued for issues at its corporate-owned stores. Franchised locations are the responsibility of the franchisee.
A variety of behaviors can be categorized as sexual harassment, and workers should be cognizant of their rights. Reporting a complaint is supposed to put a stop to these acts. Unfortunately, it does not always work, and people are reluctant to jeopardize their position when they think they will be penalized for it. A legal filing may be a viable alternative. Consulting with a law firm that has experience in representing people who have faced sexual harassment and other employment violations might help with a claim.