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McDonald's faces 15 worker complaints alleging sexual harassment

The recent release of a survey that included the experiences of 1,217 women in the fast food industry revealed that four in 10 women in this industry had been subjected to workplace harassment. The majority of the respondents were victims of frequent sexual harassment, and in some cases, there were male victims of sexual discrimination. It is not uncommon for such harassment to go unreported because of the fear of retaliation or termination. However, 15 complaints have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by employees of McDonald's in eight different states, including in Florida.

The details of some of the alleged incidents are shocking. One drive-thru cashier says her manager unsnapped her bra and upon confrontation, he allegedly said he did it because he could. Others claim their supervisors show them pornographic images, and one shift supervisor allegedly showed an employee a photo of his genitals. Another worker alleges her boss sent her a text message offering her $1,000 for oral sex.

Many of these women are low-paid workers, and because they struggle to provide food and shelter for their children and keep them warm in winter, they cannot afford to lose their jobs. Sadly, that often leaves them with no option but to tolerate the abuse. All the claims except one were lodged against franchise holders and not corporate McDonald's stores. However, a 2015 decision of the National Labor Relations Board established that franchisors could be considered as joint employers with franchisees.

Florida workers in the fast food industry -- or any other workplace -- who are exposed to sexual harassment such as lewd remarks, groping and propositioning need not endure such conditions. Taking on a company such as McDonald's that is reported to have more than one million employees need not be feared. An experienced employment law attorney can navigate such a claim on behalf of the client in a Florida civil court.

Source: The Huffington Post, "McDonald's Workers Detail Horrifying Sexual Harassment", Emily Peck, Oct. 5, 2016

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