Ten employees of McDonald’s in nine cities in the United States have filed sexual harassment complaints against the fast food giant, reported AP on Tuesday.
The workers – one of them a 15-year-old – alleged groping, propositions for sex, indecent exposure and lewd comments by supervisors. When the women reported the harassment, they were ignored or mocked, and in some cases suffered retaliation, reported AP.
Advocacy group Fight for $15, which campaigns to raise pay for low-wage workers, will organise the legal effort for the women, while the legal costs are being covered by the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides attorneys to women who can’t afford to file cases on their own.
The complaints of sexual harassment come just two days ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The fast food giant’s spokesperson Terri Hickey said, “McDonald’s Corporation takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and are confident our independent franchisees who own and operate approximately 90% of our 14,000 US restaurants will do the same.”
Fight for $15 told AP that the restaurants named in the complaints are run by franchisees, not directly by McDonald’s. But the complaints name both McDonald’s Corp and the franchisee. The company, however, said its franchisees are independent business owners.
In 2016, Fight for $15 had filed complaints on behalf of 15 McDonald’s workers who say they were sexually harassed on the job.