McDonald’s CEO vows to end workplace harassment

‘It’s an affront to everything we stand for’

McDonald’s CEO vows to end workplace harassment

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has responded to the allegations of female employees who claimed they had been subjected to sexual harassment by male colleagues. In a corporate blog post, the executive said he “acknowledges the courage” of the women who came forward, and vowed to investigate the accusations that surfaced in a CBS Sunday Morning report.

“Let me say plainly: every single person working under the Arches must have a safe and respectful work environment. Sexual harassment in the workplace is an affront to everything we stand for as a System. It has no place in any McDonald’s restaurant, and it will not be tolerated,” Kempczinski wrote.

Read more: Sexual harassment scandals put HR centre stage

“As CEO, I assure you that we take these allegations very seriously. We, as a System, must ensure that every allegation is fully and thoroughly investigated. If ever we find that we’ve fallen short of our values, we must acknowledge our mistakes and make them right.

“McDonald’s isn’t perfect, but we are steadfast in our efforts to improve our System each and every day. That’s what it means to ‘get better together,’” he said.

“Far from shying away from them, in the case of the sexual harassment allegations detailed in the CBS Sunday Morning story, I want to recognise these individuals and acknowledge their courage. Any person who steps forward to report concerns or issues deserves our utmost respect.”

Read more: Sexual harassment can amount to assault

In the CBS report, four women described instances of misconduct allegedly perpetrated by male co-workers. These encounters ranged from sexist remarks to inappropriate touching, including the alleged use of a pair of tongs to grab a female employee’s breasts.

According to Gillian Thomas, a lawyer working for the American Civil Liberties Union, there are about a hundred lawsuits and workplace complaints lodged against McDonald’s or its franchise operators. “It is hard to believe that, in this day and age, it’s still happening this egregiously, this out in the open,” Thomas told CBS.

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