A group of 10 terminated McDonald’s employees in Virginia — one Hispanic and nine African-American — are suing both the local franchisee and the behemoth mother corporation for discrimination, claiming they were let go because they “didn’t fit the profile” for employees at their restaurants.

The legal action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virgina yesterday traces the “profile” standard to Michael Simon, owner of Soweva, a company that franchises the three Virginia McDonald’s where the firings took place.

In addition, the lawsuit claims that a supervisor called one of the fast-food outlets the “ghetto store” and that another supervisor claimed there were “too many black people” working in the stores.

The lawsuit, undertaken on behalf of the workers by the NAACP and a fast-foot-workers’ advocacy group called Fight, alleges that “to maximize its profit, McDonald’s Corporate has control over nearly every aspect of its restaurants’ operations,” making it just as culpable.

In his defense, franchise operator Simon said his company “has a strict policy of prohibiting any form of discrimination or harassment in hiring, termination or any other aspect of employment.”

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