Picture this: Ronald McDonald leading a parade of workers, all decked out in their uniforms, marching with signs that say, “No More Clowning Around!” What’s going on? Well, in 10 US cities, McDonald’s employees are planning a one-day strike. Why? Because they’ve had enough of what they say is a huge problem – sexual harassment that’s spread throughout the chain like ketchup on a burger.
Now, this isn’t the first time these workers have rallied together. They’ve teamed up with the Fight for $15 group, which sounds like a fight club for spare change but is actually an organization that’s been involved in previous strikes and labor actions in the fast-food industry. They mean business!
But wait, there’s more! They’ve also filed three complaints with the EEOC (that’s the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, not the “Extra Exciting Onion Chopper”) alleging retaliation for speaking up against harassment.
One of these complaints comes from a brave soul in California. She said McDonald’s was up to some not-so-funny business by maintaining a hostile work environment for women. Not cool, Ronald. Not cool at all.
McDonald’s USA, however, is trying to do some damage control. They told Insider (no, not the spy organization, just a news outlet) that they acknowledge more work is needed to improve their workplace. Yeah, we’d say so! They even promised to assess all 40,000 McDonald’s restaurants to make sure they’re following the “Global Brand Standards.” We wonder if that includes standardizing the amount of pickles on every burger. Imagine getting a burger with 50 pickles – that’d be a big dill!
But back to the complaints. One employee reported some seriously inappropriate touching and actions between a department manager and a teenage cashier. Yikes! Not the kind of “happy meal” anyone wants.
Then there’s the worker from Louisiana who had to deal with a coworker who thought he was the king of cheesy pick-up lines. He kept asking her about having sex and even showed her pictures of his “happy meal toy.” Seriously, dude? Not only did she lose her job, but her coworker also managed to sour her whole experience.
And if that wasn’t enough, a 16-year-old employee from Illinois had to face a shift manager with boundary issues. The manager just couldn’t keep his hands to himself, which led to reduced hours for the poor girl after she reported him. No more “I’m lovin’ it” for her!
It’s not just a handful of complaints, folks. Over 50 lawsuits have come out in recent years, all pointing fingers at McDonald’s for allowing this behavior to happen. That’s enough lawsuits to fill a ball pit! In 2020, there was even a massive $500 million class action lawsuit from Florida workers, claiming a “systemic sexual harassment problem.” That’s one expensive “Happy Meal” toy!
Some say it’s not just about inappropriate comments and advances, though. Some workers claim that they never received proper training or support when it came to dealing with harassment. Come on, McDonald’s, you need to do better than just offering a hotline. Let’s be honest, nobody likes to hear that “I’m lovin’ it” jingle while reporting harassment.
But hey, there’s a glimmer of hope! McDonald’s has some new standards coming up, set to launch in January 2022. They want to create a culture of safety and respect, and they’re not clowning around this time. The standards include training on retaliation, harassment, and anti-violence policies – a much-needed lesson for some folks. They’ll even be doing surveys with the crew and managers to get feedback. That’s a lot of “Would you like fries with that?” but instead, it’s “Would you like to report harassment with that?”
So there you have it, folks. McDonald’s workers are taking a stand against harassment, and they’re not “french frying” around. Let’s hope they can turn those golden arches into a symbol of a safe and respectful workplace for everyone. Until then, we’ll be here, watching the “burger drama” unfold. Keep it crispy, McDonald’s. Keep it crispy.