Legal news reports that a group of former McDonald’s workers has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the fast-food giant. The 10 plaintiffs have alleged that they were subjected to racial discrimination and sexual harassment at the hands of managers at a Virginia franchise. They have named McDonald’s Corporate as a defendant as well, asserting that McDonald’s should pay damages because it has the power to set and enforce company policies. Even though the franchise operates as “nominally independent” in reality the restaurants are predominantly controlled by the McDonald’s Corporation, the lawsuit asserts.
Some of the allegations include complaints that the plaintiffs, nine of whom are African American and one who is Hispanic, were wrongfully fired last year and replaced with mostly white workers because their managers believed there had been “too many black people [working] in the store.” The lawsuit further alleges that women were harassed and groped and that minorities were subjected to racist taunts. It also claims that managers referred to one restaurant as “the ghetto store.”
Additionally, the complaint states that when the plaintiffs voiced their concerns to management at McDonald’s, the company failed to take any actions to remedy the firings.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or sex. Further, employers are required to investigate claims of discrimination and take reasonable steps to remedy discriminatory actions.
Several other lawsuits are pending against McDonald’s alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), concerning “wage theft” and other prohibited wage and hour practices. These suits also seek to hold McDonald’s corporate responsibility for the acts of franchises.
For more information, please contact the compassionate and dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.