Since its inception in January 2018, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund has had a huge impact in the fight against sexual harassment and assault. The fund has already helped thousands of women file sexual harassment and assault suits. And now, Time’s Up is providing legal assistance to 10 female McDonald’s employees who have filed sexual harassment claims.
CNNMoney reported yesterday, May 22nd, that the claims were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a total of seven states. Most of the harassment took place over the past two years, and one of the complainants was just 15 years old. The harassment reported by these McDonald’s employees included groping, propositions for sex, and inappropriate comments from supervisors. Many of the complainants state that when they told management, they were either ignored or subjected to retaliation, including firing.
“McDonald’s Corporation takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and are confident our independent franchisees who own and operate approximately 90 percent of our 14,000 U.S. restaurants will do the same,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in an email to the Associated Press.
The locations involved in the claims are not managed directly by McDonald’s but are instead franchise locations.
The claims were organized by Fight for $15, a nonprofit working to raise the minimum wage. Time’s Up has partnered with Fight for $15 to fund the complainants’ legal services. Fight for $15 filed similar claims with the EEOC in 2016, but thanks to Time’s Up, each woman in this most recent case will be represented by a lawyer.
Fight for $15 has also set up a hotline for McDonald’s employees to report other instances of sexual harassment.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is widespread throughout the food service industry, not just at McDonald’s. According to a 2016 survey from Hart Research Associates, 40 percent of female fast food workers experience sexual harassment at work.
We’re glad to see Time’s Up and Fight for $15 taking a stand against workplace harassment, and we stand with all the current and former McDonald’s employees seeking justice.