NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, May 21, twenty-three new complaints were leveraged against McDonald's. Of these, twenty have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Three of the complaints were filed as civil rights lawsuits, and two suits stem from previous allegations.
The complaints are comprised of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment of workers that include inappropriate touching, indecent exposure, lewd comments and requests for sex from the low-wage workers. The complaints claim incidents of retaliation for reporting such conduct. All of the alleged occurrences are said to have taken place at corporate and franchise stores in 20 cities.
Jamelia Fairley, an employee in Sanford, Florida, alleges that she was sexually harassed over a period of several months, including hearing sexual comments about her 1-year-old daughter. Fairley alleges that her work hours were reduced after she reported the incidents.
A spokeswoman for McDonald's declined to comment on the EEOC filings. The plaintiffs behind the complaints are being back by the American Civil Liberties Union, the labor group fight for $15, and the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, which spawned last year as an extension of Hollywood's #MeToo movement. Together, the three groups intend to fight McDonald's and improve the fast food chain's environment for women across all 14,000 North American locations.
The lawsuits only represent a fraction of the nearly 5,000 assault cases that have been brought to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund since their founding last year, many of which stemmed from low-wage workers. Suing McDonald's is a strategic litigation move on the part of the group. They hope that by changing McDonald's, one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world, other restaurants will be encouraged to alter their policy. Restaurant workers file more sexual assault claims than any other industry.
Carney Shegerian, the founder of Los Angeles-based employee rights law firm Shegerian & Associates, has weighed in on the suit.
"The harassment and retaliation that these workers face is deplorable," Shegerian says. "All employees, regardless of their pay grade, deserve a respectful work environment."
About Shegerian & Associates:
Shegerian & Associates has won clients over $300 million in employment-based disputes and maintains a 98% success rate. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and New York.
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SOURCE Shegerian & Associates