McDonald’s Restaurant Employees Strike Over Sexual Harassment
The now-ubiquitous social media hashtag #MeToo was first conceived by activist Tarana Burke several years ago. She came up with the idea of using the phrase “Me Too” to help young women who had been hurt by sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment have a way of signifying that they were survivors of sexual abuse. The phrase also gave advocates a way of offering support to others affected by sexual violence. The hashtag gained viral status after a popular actress and women’s rights advocate encouraged others to “tweet” #MeToo if they had been victimized by sexual harassment or assault on Twitter.
Since then, the phrase has been associated with several shocking allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Long-time NBC news anchor Matt Lauer and media tycoon Harvey Weinstein are just two of the high-profile men accused of sexual harassment by women. However, sexual harassment does not only affect celebrities. More recently, employees working for the fast food company McDonald’s expressed their outrage over alleged company-wide sexual harassment via a strike and picket signs.
Employees Say Supervisors Retaliated Against Those Who Reported Harassment
Hundreds of McDonald’s employees who say they are sick and tired of unaddressed sexual harassment recently protested in cities across the country. Signs with phrases like “Keep your hands off my thighs” and “MeToo” were carried as organizers chanted slogans and demanded that McDonald’s do more to stop the alleged sexual harassment. Advocates for the protest say that fast food companies often hire young employees who may be unaware of their right to being free from sexual harassment. Employees with less work experience or employees who fear losing their job may be hesitant to report sexual harassment from superiors or co-workers. So far, ten employees from the fast food chain have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about sexual harassment perpetuated by male supervisors. Some employees even reported that superiors who made unwelcome advances toward subordinates retaliated against anyone who complained about the harassing behavior.
Fast Food Employees May Be Especially Vulnerable to Sexual Harassment
Fast food companies have often been accused of not addressing sexual harassment in an effective manner. Part of the problem comes from the fact that many stores are often owned and operated by franchisees. Fast food stores owned and operated by franchisees may lack human resources departments or an official policy regarding sexual harassment allegations. McDonald’s said in an official statement that the company plans to “evolve” sexual harassment policies in order to create a safe working atmosphere for every employee.
Have You Been Sexually Harassed at Work?
Everyone deserves to feel safe at work. If you have experienced sexual harassment at the hands of a boss or colleague, you need a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL sexual harassment attorney who can fight on your behalf. Contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today to discuss your sexual harassment claim by calling 630-665-7300.