The results of a recent study suggest that more than 75% of female McDonald’s workers in California and around the country have encountered sexual discrimination in the workplace at least once in their careers. Investigators from The Nation magazine came to this worrying conclusion after surveying 782 women who recently left McDonald’s or currently work for the company in non-management jobs.
About half of the women surveyed said that they had been ogled or subjected to inappropriate comments while on the job, and a further one in three told investigators that they had been groped or fondled by coworkers or supervisors. Even more concerning was the number of respondents who said that they experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment. Almost a quarter of the women said that they had been offered promotions or additional hours by managers or supervisors in return for sex, and 29% of them said that a coworker had made sexual advances toward them. The Nation published the results of its study on May 26.
The publication of the study came less than six months after a former McDonald’s worker filed a lawsuit that accused the company of nurturing a culture of sexual harassment. Hundreds of McDonald’s employees in Michigan than threatened to call a strike over the way the fast food giant deals with harassment and discrimination claims. When asked about the results of the study, a McDonald’s representative said the company was committed to providing its employees with a safe and supportive workplace environment.
Workers in California are protected against on-the-job sexual harassment and discrimination by state and federal laws, and employers who violate these laws can face both civil and official sanctions. Attorneys with experience in this area could discuss the steps involved in pursuing a harassment complaint, and they could also explain the consequences employers could face for retaliating against workers who step forward.