The age of #Me Too has arrived at the Golden Arches, which is probably not going to respond: “Do you want fries with that?”
Last week over 100 elected officials from over 70 jurisdictions and 30 states including Escondido’s Deputy Mayor Consuelo Martinez urged McDonalds to take concrete action to stop sexual harassment in its stores.
In a letter to the company’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, the officials decry McDonald’s alleged failure to protect its workers from groping, lewd comments, and other forms of harassment and violence, and demand that it bring workers to the table to establish a policy to eradicate sexual harassment.
“If McDonald’s is to seriously address sexual harassment, it will do what two dozen leading women’s and sexual violence prevention advocates, nearly 60 members of Congress, and its workers from coast-to-coast are demanding: meet with the people who face sexual harassment in McDonald’s restaurants, hear their stories, and, together with them, craft real solutions,” the leaders write.
The 115 leaders who signed onto the letter are the latest elected officials to demand McDonald’s take immediate steps to address sexual harassment. In June, eight senators, including four presidential candidates, wrote to Easterbrook demanding action on sexual harassment; and in July, some 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the CEO, calling on McDonald’s to meet with its workers and come up with a plan to stamp out harassment on the job.
In the letter, the local leaders write that McDonald’s recent announcement “simply falls short” of addressing the company’s sexual harassment problem and that any policy must be required to be instituted in franchise stores and not just corporate ones.
In the last few years, McDonald’s workers have filed more than 50 complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging sexual harassment on the job. The charges reveal repeated efforts by workers to seek assistance from management after experiencing sexual harassment on the job, only to have their complaints brushed off or ignored, or, in some cases, even mocked; many felt the brunt of retaliation—from reduced hours to unwarranted discipline to termination.
Workers have also taken action across the country demanding the company act, including outside McDonald’s Chicago headquarters and on strike lines in over 10 cities, the first walkout over sexual harassment in the country in more than 100 years.