It is against the law in California to subject an employee to harassment based on gender classification. This harassment can include actions like rude remarks or unwanted sexual advances. Sexual harassment can also involve denying work and advancement opportunities to an employee because of their gender. Recent stories involving harassment at one of the largest companies in the country exemplify the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.
McDonald’s completed a survey of 800 workers in 2019 that asked questions regarding sexual harassment. The survey revealed that three of four respondents experienced sexual harassment while working at either a corporate or franchised McDonald’s store. More than 7 out of 10 respondents who chose to report the harassment said they experienced more negative consequences for their troubles. McDonald’s explained the findings by pointing out the small sample size for the survey, but the company enacted new sexual harassment policies later the same year.
An article published in July 2020 recounted the personal experiences of a group of women who say they experienced sexual harassment as McDonald’s workers. The allegations go back as far as 2015. Advocates against sexual harassment argue that worker complaints continue to roll in despite the lack of substantive action from McDonald’s.
The problems keep coming for McDonald’s as the ACLU has joined forces with several advocate groups. The coalition plans to prepare sexual harassment filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A spokesperson for the ACLU explained the organization’s position that McDonald’s status as one of the nation’s largest companies makes it essential to hold the company accountable for the harassment happening on its watch.
In 2021, the CEO of McDonald’s announced the company’s Global Brand Standards. The document details for workers and management the components of a safe and respectful workplace. Advocates express some degree of optimism for the announcement but cite the company’s record as a cause for reservation.
All workers possess the right to a work environment free of mistreatment or harassment. Individuals who feel they have suffered a violation of this right may benefit from a legal consultation.