California readers might be interested to learn that a pair of former McDonald’s employees is suing the fast-food giant for allegedly allowing widespread sexual harassment to occur in its Florida restaurants. The class-action suit was filed in Chicago on April 10.
According to the complaint, which was filed by two women who worked at a McDonald’s location in Sanford, Florida, the company fostered a hostile work environment by failing to protect them from incidents of “severe or pervasive sexual harassment.” These incidents allegedly included physical assaults, groping and comments of a sexual nature. The complaint further alleges that one of the plaintiffs was unlawfully fired after she reported being sexually harassed by a male co-worker.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a group of female employees that have been harassed while working at the more than 100 corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurants located in Florida. The plaintiffs are requesting $500 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. This is the second class-action lawsuit filed against McDonald’s in the last five months. A group of Michigan workers filed a sexual harassment claim against the company in November 2019. In a recent statement, McDonald’s claimed that it is committed to protecting its employees from sexual harassment.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment could reach out to an employment law attorney for assistance. After assessing the case, the attorney might find it necessary to pursue legal action against the employer responsible for the harassment. One possible action may involve filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or equivalent state agency. This might lead to a settlement that covers back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress and other job-related losses. The employer might also be ordered to change its policies to better protect employees from harassment.