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Cases Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Filed By Former Mcdonald's Workers In US

Cases Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Filed By Former Mcdonald's Workers In US
A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed against McDonald's and one of its Michigan franchisees by a former employee of the company Jenna Ries on Tuesday within a week of one of the largest fast food chains of the company firing its CEO over charges of him having a relationship with a subordinate. The former employees at the fast-food chain want have urged the company to take prompt action against incidents of sexual harassment.
Apart from Ries reports claimed that sexual harassment charges against the company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or in state courts have been filed by at 50 more workers of the company during the last three years.
The news of the latest legal suit came at a time when protests are being held in Michigan by hundreds of McDonald's workers against the alleged tolerance attitude of the company to harassment and low pay.
Ries, 32, was employed at a franchise restaurant outside Lansing, Michigan. She was sexually harassed soon after she had joined the company and began working there in the fall of 2017, she said, and added that she had to endure the harassment for three years.
According to the allegations of Ries, while at work she was groped by a co-worker and she was called names right in from of the other co-workers, and was repeatedly physically assaulted. The repeated complaints of harassment of her and her colleagues were ignored by the general manager, Ries said. She was ultimately transferred to a separate location but the co-workers who had allegedly harassed her continued to work at the original location.
"It was so hard for me to go to work but i physically forced myself to go; I needed the money and I thought I had no choice," Ries told reporters Tuesday. "This is not just about me, this is about everyone who deserves to feel safe at work."
The plaintiffs are being aggressively backed by the labor group Fight for $15 and the American Civil Liberties Union. The plaintiffs are being provided legal support by the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund that was created during the #MeToo movement. In the legal suit, Ries has sought worth at least $5 million.
Charges against McDonald’s have also been filed by Ries with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where one has to first file a charge in civil rights issues before filing one with a federal court.
However experts said that these cases can take years to get decided. Advocates say that investigations or mediations are still ongoing for some of the 50 cases. On the other hand, some of the cases have been shifted to state courts form the EEOC following the EEOC finding enough evidence to support a discrimination claim for the cases.
The firing of the McDonald's fired CEO Steve Easterbrook last week over charges of having a relationship with a subordinate, which the company had judged had violated a policy related to forbidding relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, was termed to be ironic by Ries.
"They barely have a policy [against sexual harassment]," Ries told The Associated Press.
It has taken steps to tackle the problem of workplace harassment, McDonald’s said.  

Christopher J. Mitchell

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