Missoula Mac, Inc., which owns and operates 25 McDonald's franchise locations in the Madison, Wisconsin area, is going to need to flip a lot of Big Macs to cover the tab on this lawsuit.
According to the EEOC, the company has agreed to settle the case for $1 million after a protracted class-action litigation process.
The EEOC's complaint alleged that, since 2006, a number of male employees at the chain of franchised burger joints engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment, including sexual comments, kissing and touching of their female co-workers' private areas, and forcing the ladies' hands onto the male employees' private parts.
Complaints were made and filed, and yet, according to the EEOC, nothing was done. One employee quit due to the conditions. Others were fired after they made repeated complaints.
There's a standard litigation process in these types of suits. First, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates the claims. If they find evidence that substantiates the accusations, they attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement through their conciliation process. If that fails (as it did here), the EEOC files a lawsuit and proceeds through the ugly, dirty, nasty litigation process. The EEOC filed this case in April 2011.
This case, as is typical of these cases, was settled for both a financial amount and a consent decree. The decree in this case will require the company to undergo several remedial measures, including:
- Hiring someone to monitor, solicit, and resolve sexual harassment and retaliation complaints;
- Establish a telephone and e-mail hotline for complaints;
- Track and maintain records of complaints;
- Train employees on sexual harassment;
- Notify employees of the settlement;
- Evaluate its managers' and supervisors' performance based on their compliance; and
- Provide reports to the EEOC showing compliance.
- Consult a Chicago Employment Attorney (FindLaw)
- Wisconsin McDonald's owner settles sexual harassment suit (Associated Press)
- What Does the EEOC Have to Do Before it Can Fight Discrimination? (FindLaw's Chicago Employment Law Blog)
- EEOC Signs Mediation Pact With Family Dollar Stores (FindLaw's Chicago Employment Law Blog)