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Black businessman filing civil rights lawsuit against McDonald’s Corporation

“In alleged retaliation for speaking out against unfair treatment of Black store owners, Herb Washington, one of the America’s greatest African-American business success stories said he is seeing his hard work dismantled by the McDonald’s fast-food corporation.

And so Herb Washington said he is suing McDonald’s. The Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway law firm is representing Washington.

On Tuesday (February 16, 2021) at 1:30 EST/12:30 CST/10:30 a.m. PST there will be a live video-based news event officially announcing the lawsuit. A streaming version of the news event will be available later in the day at

Speakers will include:

Herb Washington
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Joseph C. Peiffer, managing partner, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway
Kevin P. Conway, partner, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway

The following statement was released by supporters of Mr. Washington:

Herb Washington is a real American success story: He made headlines as a champion sprinter at Michigan State University, helped win a World Series for the Oakland A’s, and went down in the record books by building the largest Black-owned McDonald’s franchise operation in the United States.

But, as part of its effort to drive Black franchisees from its system, McDonald’s has targeted Washington and has pressured him to sell one store after another to white franchisees. On February 16th, Washington will bring a civil rights action to hold McDonald’s accountable for its racial discrimination and retaliation against him as a Black franchisee.

If one of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the United States gets away with silencing someone with the track record and success of Herb Washington, what Black business leader can feel safe in speaking out about the mistreatment of African-Americans in the business world?

What is particularly disturbing here is that McDonald’s stores that have been built up by Black owners in challenging neighborhoods are being stripped away from those Black owners and handed to white owners … all as part of a cynical exercise in manipulating the restaurant chain’s profitability numbers to give the phony appearance of parity amongst Black and white franchise owners.”

New York Daily News | Nancy Dillon | February 15, 2021


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