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McDonald’s sued by Black franchisee alleging racial discrimination

“A Black McDonald’s franchisee claims in a new federal lawsuit that the fast food chain pigeon-holed him into running low-volume stores in minority communities, CNBC reports.

Herbert Washington, who owns 14 McDonald’s locations, filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday in Ohio, claiming discriminatory actions have created a $700,000 sales gap between Black-owned and white-owned franchises, according to The Detroit News.

“By relegating Black owners to the oldest stores in the toughest neighborhoods, McDonald’s ensured that Black franchisees would never achieve the levels of success that White franchisees could expect,” his lawsuit reads, according to newspaper.

McDonald’s said it’s looking into Washington’s claims and will respond accordingly. It added that he has been offered several avenues to address business issues including past health and sanitation concerns and some of the highest volumes of customer complaints in the country.

“His restaurants have a public record of these issues,” the company said in a statement to The Hill.

“This situation is the result of years of mismanagement by Mr. Washington, whose organization has failed to meet many of our standards on people, operations, guest satisfaction and reinvestment,” it added.

Washington’s suit follows a similar one filed in September, in which 52 Black franchisees sued McDonald’s over similar complaints of racial discrimination and its effect on the growth of their businesses.”

The Hill | Sarah Polus | February 16, 2021


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