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South Florida McDonald’s Workers Join Strike To Protect Workplace Harassment – CBS Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – McDonald’s employees in 12 U.S. cities, together with Miami and Fort Lauderdale, walked off the job Tuesday to protest what they are saying is a unbroken drawback of sexual harassment and violence within the company’s shops.

This is the fifth time since 2018 that McDonald’s employees have struck the company over what they are saying are insufficient efforts to cease sexual harassment in its shops. At least 50 employees have filed fees towards McDonald’s alleging verbal and bodily harassment during the last 5 years.

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In April, McDonald’s introduced it could require sexual harassment coaching, reporting procedures for complaints and annual worker surveys at its 40,000 shops worldwide beginning in January 2022.

But some employees say that’s not sufficient. They need McDonald’s, not its franchisees who personal practically all of its U.S. shops, to be held accountable for harassment in its eating places.

The newest labor motion was spurred by a lawsuit filed final month by a teenage McDonald’s worker and her mother and father towards McDonald’s and one in every of its franchisees.

The worker was 14 when she was employed to work at a Pittsburgh-area McDonald’s in October 2020. The worker stated she obtained no coaching on sexual harassment or learn how to report it, despite the fact that McDonald’s arrange a harassment hotline and commenced providing that coaching to franchisees in 2019.

According to the lawsuit, {the teenager}’s retailer employed a supervisor in January 2021 who had served time in jail for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old lady and was listed in Pennsylvania’s intercourse offender registry.

The supervisor abused and harassed {the teenager} and different underage staff, however there was no investigation by retailer management or McDonald’s regardless of their complaints to the supervisor who employed them. In February, the supervisor adopted the teenager into a rest room and raped her.

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The supervisor, Walter Garner, was arrested in April after one other McDonald’s worker informed directors at her faculty about his conduct and the college contacted the police. Garner was sentenced to as much as 10 years in jail final week.

The teenager is looking for damages from McDonald’s in addition to from the franchisee that ran her restaurant, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania-based Rice Enterprises LLC.

In addition to its harassment coaching requirement, which was introduced the identical month Garner was arrested, McDonald’s stated it expects franchisees to conduct thorough investigations when allegations come up.

“Every single person working at a McDonald’s restaurant deserves to feel safe and respected when they come to work, and sexual harassment and assault have no place in any McDonald’s restaurant,” the company stated Tuesday in an announcement.

In an announcement supplied by her legal professional, Rice Enterprises CEO Michele Rice stated the allegations made within the teen’s lawsuit are “deeply disturbing” and the worker was fired as quickly as she heard concerning the complaints towards him.

“We have fully cooperated with the police and have offered our full support to the impacted employee,” Rice stated within the assertion.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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