Starting in the spring of 2019, accusations about the culture of sexual harassment occurring at multiple McDonald’s locations started to become public.
In November 2019, The New York Times reported that a former employee reported inappropriate sexual behavior from her manager at a location in Mason, Michigan, to upper management. In the complaint, the employee, Jenna Ries, told authorities that the manager repeatedly harassed her between 2017 and 2019; including calling her offensive names and pulling out his genitals. While the location is owned by a franchisee, it was among numerous other cases that echoed the same sentiments from other female employees.
In a new report done by The Nation, over 75% of female McDonald’s employees have experienced sexual harassment while on the job. The eye-opening survey revealed that half of the respondents have received sexual comments and suggestive looks or gestures with another third saying they were touched or fondled while working.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they have been asked for sex by a co-worker with 22% reporting they were bribed with extra hours and even a promotion in exchange for sexual favors. Nineteen percent said they had received threats when they refused sexual advances with 12% saying the encounter ended in sexual assault or rape.
A McDonald’s spokesperson recently responded to the survey in an email to The Nation stating, “The crew and managers are the heart and soul of every McDonald’s restaurant, and McDonald’s and its franchisees are dedicated to ensuring that their work environment is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. We’ve demonstrated our commitment to this issue by consistently offering various Safe and Respectful Workplace Trainings.”
“Without examining the Change to Win poll’s results or methodology in full, we cannot speak to it. However, considering their agenda, we must point out that the poll surveyed less than 0.1% of the individuals who work in a McDonald’s U.S. restaurants, which is hardly representative of the more than 800,000 people working at McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.”