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McDonald’s Corp., already embroiled in legal action over whether it is a joint employer with its franchisees, now faces the prospect of a walk-out by employees on Tuesday, Sept. 18, over sexual harassment issues.
The strike, to be launched at noontime, will hit stores in 10 locations, but not every store in those cities, which are Chicago; Durham, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco and St. Louis.
Organizers of the strike are women who filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in May, alleging sexual harassment, including groping and propositioning, at several McDonald’s branches.
The action comes on the heels of an ongoing dispute over workers who joined Fight for $15, a campaign for a higher minimum wage at McDonald’s franchisees, and were terminated for their actions. The group sued McDonald’s Corp., alleging it was a joint employer with the franchisees. The company thought it had settled individually with the wage protesters, but a judge threw out the settlement. Thus the lawsuit is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the head corporation told the Associated Press: “We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment.”
Nonetheless, McDonald’s has also retained the services of Seyfarth Shaw at Work, an employment law training firm, and RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, to help it “evolve” its anti-harassment policies and procedures.
The lawyer representing the women who filed the complaints, Mary Joyce Carlson, begs to differ with the company’s official statement: “We see no evidence there’s been any change at all. Whatever policy they have is not effective.”