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McDonald's faces 25 new sexual harassment complaints

McDonald's Corp. is facing 25 new sexual harassment complaints from its workers, labor group Fight for $15 said in a May 21 emailed statement.

The complaints, announced with support from the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund and American Civil Liberties Union, include a combination of lawsuits and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges.

The complaints claim that inappropriate conduct — such as groping, indecent exposure and sex propositions — has occurred at McDonald's restaurants across 20 cities.

"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," according to the statement.

The new batch of charges is the third round of complaints against McDonald's, bringing the number of sexual harassment charges against the company to more than 50 in the last three years.

The workers are calling on McDonald's to effectively implement and enforce a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment. In addition, the workers are demanding McDonald's hold mandatory training for managers and employees and create a safe and effective system for receiving and responding to complaints.

In a May 19 letter to television host and activist Padma Lakshmi, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the company has improved its policy, which more clearly defines sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

The executive said McDonald's is also implementing new educational training modules on harassment, unconscious bias and workplace safety for its crew and will offer a third-party managed hotline for those who have complaints.

"McDonald's is sending a clear message that we are committed to creating and sustaining a culture of trust where employees feel safe, valued and respected," Easterbrook wrote.