McDonald’s Workers Plan Protest After Wave Of Sexual Harassment Claims

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On Thursday, McDonald's workers in over 30 U.S. cities will stage a lunchtime protest of the company's lax response to a rash of sexual harassment complaints, The Guardian reports. 15 distinct complaints have been filed over the past month against the company and its franchisees. Complaints have spanned eight states, fourteen franchise locations, and one corporate McDonald's location. All complaints, however, have been made to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) naming McDonald's as a joint employer. The EEOC will be tasked with determining whether the corporation is responsible for the harassment that allegedly took place at its franchise locations. Not only have the complaints been ignored, there have allegedly been retaliations levied against the complainants. Complaints provided to news organizations by Fight for $15, a fast food workers' rights group, paint a horrifying picture of the alleged harassment. Milwaukee, Wisconsin worker Jasmine Bell writes that “on multiple occasions, Bell’s manager…would lean over her when she was bending over so his genitals were pressed against her or in her face when she looked up.” That's in addition to lewd comments. Kristi Maisenbach, a former Folsom, California McDonald’s worker writes that her supervisor “grabbed [her] breasts on several occasions and would intentionally rub his genitals against [her] butt” and sent her a text message offering $1,000 for oral sex. She told the general manager of her location and saw her hours reduced before finding another job. The corporation, complaints allege, hasn't done enough to stamp out these issues. “McDonald’s has zero tolerance for any form of sexual harassment of any employee,” McDonald’s operations and training manual reads. “Sexual harassment is prohibited because it may be intimidating, an abuse of power and is inconsistent with McDonald’s policies and management philosophy.”

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