A McDonald’s location is expected to pay close to $2 million to resolve claims that adolescent employees experienced sexual harassment.
Court records. State managers, supervisors, and other employees are accused of making unwanted sexual approaches toward, and having sexual contact with, adolescent employees.
After the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, AMTCR, Inc, the franchise owner that manages about 18 McDonald’s locations in the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada, is required to pay $1,997,500.
The franchise has been accused of knowing since at least 2017 that sexual harassment by managers, supervisors, and coworkers was occurring at some of its McDonald’s restaurants but still allowing the behavior to continue.
A 54-year-old chef is accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old employee on a regular basis, according to court filings.
The Los Angeles District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Anna Park, a regional attorney, said: “We continue to see young workers entering the workforce being subjected to harassment in the workplace.
“Employers should take special care to ensure that managers are trained to understand their responsibilities and that employees are encouraged to report discrimination,” the study reads.
According to Ms. Park, they are “encouraged by the strong measures AMTCR is agreeing to implement company-wide to encourage workers to raise complaints” as well as “to swiftly and effectively address complaints; and to include bystander training for all employees to ensure a discrimination-free work environment.”
Teenage workers are particularly “susceptible” to experiencing harassment, according to Charlotte A. Burrows, chair of the EEOC. She also emphasized that stopping and resolving “systemic harassment and safeguarding vulnerable workers from discrimination” is a top “priority” for her organization.
It follows a walkout by McDonald’s employees in 12 American cities in October 2021 to protest the way the restaurant chain handles allegations of sexual harassment.