McDonald’s to train all restaurant staff after numerous sexual harassment allegations

The trainings, among other measures, are designed to put in place a new set of brand standards, which focus on the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation, prevention of violence in the workplace, collection employee feedback and broader health and safety.
“There is no shortcut to making sure people feel safe, respected and included in a McDonald’s restaurant,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement on Wednesday. The standards should help ensure that “in every interaction everyone is welcome, comfortable and safe,” he said.

McDonald’s said it is working with independent experts to develop tools that will help franchisees, who run the vast majority of McDonald’s establishments, meet the standards. It will start rating stores in January 2022.

The channel has been prosecuted by lawsuits alleging harassment and discrimination within its ranks in recent years, both at the franchise and corporate level.
Earlier this year, a “CBS Sunday Morning” story described allegations of employees who said they experienced discrimination and sexual harassment at work by male employees. Dozens of women “from across the country [had] remarkably similar accounts of abuse and harassment in the workplace, “CBS News said.
The story prompted a response from McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, who said sexual harassment against restaurant workers “will not be tolerated” at McDonald’s.

“Let me make it clear: everyone working under the Arches must have a safe and respectful work environment,” Kempczinski wrote in a statement at the time. “Sexual harassment in the workplace is an affront to everything we stand for as a system.” He also said he had requested a “review [of] our current workplace safety policies and programs.

Last year, McDonald’s also launched an investigation into allegations of possible misconduct within its human resources department in connection with the behavior of former CEO Steve Easterbrook.
Easterbrook was fired from McDonald’s in 2019 due to a relationship with an employee. Last year, McDonald’s sued him for allegedly lying to the board about the extent of his employee relations.

– Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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