McDonald's Allegedly Has a Sexual Harassment Problem and Employees Have Had Enough

October 5th 2016

Almie Rose

McDonald's workers in 30 cities across the United States are staging protests on Thursday, according to The Guardian. The workers are trying to bring attention to 15 sexual harassment complaints that have been filed against the company and its franchisees.


The details.

The complaints, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), include allegations that reveal what it was like to be a female worker at certain McDonald's stores in eight states: California, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, and New York, according to The Guardian.

Fourteen of the complaints are for franchise stores; only one is for a McDonald's corporate location. While the complaint lists the McDonald's corporation as a joint employer, the EEOC will determine whether the complaints filed will hold both McDonald's and its franchisees responsible.

McDonalds fries

Kristi Maisenbach of a Folsom, California location alleges in her complaint 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 sex," The Guardian reports.

When Maisenbach complained to the general manager, her hours were cut. "The lesson was clear: speak out, and you’ll face the punishment," she said. She eventually quit.

McDonalds sign

Cycei Monae from Flint, Michigan claims her employer "rubbed his genitals against her, complimented her body and said he wanted to 'do things' to her," according to a press release from Fight for $15, the movement seeking to raise McDonald's employees wages to $15 per hour. Monae describes her ordeal, saying:

"I really needed that job and the money, and I considered remaining silent. But I believed McDonald’s had my back and would be horrified by the way I was treated. I was wrong."

She also quit.

Four in ten.

Four in ten women who work in the fast food industry are sexual harassed while on the job, reports Fight for $15. They produced a sobering video showing McDonald's employees speaking freely about the harassment they've endured:

Sexual Harassment RAMPANT at Fast Food Restaurants

Sexual harassment is RAMPANT at fast-food restaurants like McDonald's. Four out of ten women face on-the-job harassment - in this video they share their stories with the #FightFor15 in their own (graphic and disturbing) words.

Posted by Fight for $15 on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To those wondering "well why don't they just quit" — some of them do, but the point is they shouldn't have to. "[...] 42 percent of women in the industry who experience unwanted sexual behavior feel forced to accept it because they can’t afford to lose their jobs," according to stats cited in the Five for $15 press release.

"At McDonald’s, we and our independent owner-operators share a deep commitment to the respectful treatment of everyone," a spokesperson from McDonald's told ATTN: in an email. "There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in McDonald’s restaurants or in any workplace. We take any concerns seriously and are reviewing the allegations."

McDonald's workers are staging a protest.

According to the press release, workers in three-dozen cities will protest during the lunchtime rush on Thursday in an effort to make themselves heard. Their signs will read "McDonald’s, I’m Not on the Menu" and "McDonald’s, Put Some Respect in My Check." Their goal is to get the "zero-tolerance" policy against sexual harassment enforced.

McDonalds bag and drink

"McDonald’s monitors everything we do – from how fast the drive-thru is moving, to how we fold our customers’ bags," Monae says. "Yet when I filed a complaint against my shift manager for regularly sexually harassing me – which included him showing me a photo of his genitals – McDonald’s had no response."