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McDonald’s faces another lawsuit by workers claiming racial discrimination

“For the fourth time in less than a year, former and current McDonald’s employees have filed a complaint accusing the fast food giant of racial discrimination.

The civil rights suit […] accuses managers at a local McDonald’s of subjecting Black workers to racially derogatory terms and disparate treatment that resulted in them receiving harsher discipline, and fewer hours, than their white colleagues.

Also on Tuesday, an earlier complaint filed in July by Black employees of a Lakeland, Florida McDonald’s was amended after two of the workers were fired – dismissals they said were retaliation for speaking up about their abusive work environment.

The Illinois suit’s allegations are “symptomatic of a pattern or practice of McDonald’s corporate leadership’s failure to address pervasive racism and anti-Black sentiment throughout the organization,” the complaint said, “from executives in the C-suite, to individual managers at restaurants throughout the country.”

Slurs and slashed hours

The three current and former employees who filed the Illinois complaint said a white general manager and other supervisors often referred to Black workers as “ghetto” and “lazy,” among other abusive statements.

And the general manager targeted Black employees when cutting shifts and hours this year, the suit claims.

[…] The lawsuit puts a spotlight on what many workers and labor advocates deem to be the hypocrisy of many corporations that have declared their support for the current national movement challenging systemic racism, yet fail to root out bigotry within their own organizations. […]

Lawsuits multiply

The fast food giant has faced allegations of racism at every level.

In September, 52 Black former McDonald’s franchisees filed suit in federal court saying they faced discrimination and were not given the same opportunities as their white peers.

The group, who, collectively, operated more than 200 restaurants between 1988 and 2018, said the company directed them to stores in “economically depressed” and “dangerous locations” that cost more to run while producing lower sales. […]

And in January, two Black McDonald’s executives filed a racial discrimination suit saying the company had discriminated against Black executives as well as Black franchisees. […]”

USA TODAY | Charisse Jones | October 13, 2020


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