A McDonald’s franchise located in Virginia is being sued by ten of its former workers over allegations of racism, sexual harassment and illegal termination. This event will supposedly test the company itself of its legal responsibility with the countless of franchises.
The Civil Rights Act lawsuit was filed on Thursday against Soweva Co., the owner of the McDonald’s franchise. Ex-workers said that a supervisor called a black employee “bitch,” “ratchet,” and “ghetto” while also removing the employee’s false teeth and suggesting the employee to engage in oral sex with other employees. This wasn’t the only occasion where employees were subjected to racism. Another supervisor had also called an employee of Latin origin “dirty Mexican” and “hot Mexican”. The supervisor also sent a picture of his genitals and was alleged of inappropriately touching employees.
The black and Latin employees were ultimately fired, reasoning that they didn’t “fit the profile.” The workers said that they even went to the head office of McDonald’s itself but the corporation did nothing to help them. The lawsuit also includes McDonald’s as liable for being the employer of the plaintiff and that they have allowed the misconduct of Soweva Co.
McDonald’s, however, said that they have not seen the lawsuit yet and that they would review the issue carefully. Its spokesperson was quick to defend McDonald’s by saying that the company has had a longstanding history of allowing and embracing the diversity of the employees, franchisees and different customers as well as the suppliers. Because of this, the spokesperson said that discrimination does not go with their values.
Unfortunately, Soweva has yet to give a reaction regarding the allegations against them.
The lawsuit came after a number of strikes against the top employers of McDonald’s. The top prosecutor of the National Labor Relations had also said that the agency would regard McDonald’s as a joint employer when labor law violations are being investigated.
With the latest lawsuit filed, it contends that the company had great control over the workers of the Virginia franchise since McDonald’s itself sends representatives called ‘mystery shoppers’ who grade the franchises whether they comply with the system and regulations that McDonald’s has implemented.