McDonald’s amends policies amidst sexual harassment allegations

Amidst attempts to revamp its policies, McDonald’s is facing 25 new sexual harassment charges and lawsuits. On May 21st, and with support from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, more than two-dozen charges alleged “A trail of illegal conduct in both corporate and franchise McDonald’s restaurants across 20 cities.”

Following an inquiry from U.S Senator Tammy Duckworth, Steve Easterbrook the CEO of McDonald’s said McDonald’s was training employees to deal with harassment and that through improving company policy was a step towards “ensuring a harassment and bias-free workplace.”

Easterbrook said, “We have enhanced our policy so that it more clearly informs employees of their rights, more clearly defines sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and provides examples of what unacceptable behaviour looks like.” In 2018, McDonald’s begun working with RAINN, an anti-abuse organisation. According to McDonald’s, this taught employees how to prevent misconduct. Easterbrook said that 90 percent of operators and general managers had taken the training course.

Although McDonald’s have been attentive towards the complaints and charges, not everyone is satisfied. Gillian Thomas, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, said, “The measures that McDonald’s claims to have implemented, or to have in the works, are better than nothing, but the company has yet to commit to meting out consequences for stores, whether corporate-owned or franchised, where harassment continues to flourish.”

Employees are still calling for a sit-down with McDonald’s to eradicate sexual harassment from the restaurant completely, however.