Another interesting article from the team at HR Grapevine. Click on the link to find our more and register for their regular updates:
Sexual harassment - Is this McDonald's Me Too moment?
The Me Too campaign, which rose to prominence via the support of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence, has aided workers in feeling empowered enough to stand up against harassment in the workplace and demand that changes are made.
The movement gained online traction as a hashtag in 2017 to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of harassment and sexual harassment, particularly in the workplace.
The latest company to come under fire for such actions is global fast food chain McDonald’s, against whom 25 cases of sexual harassment have been filed – NDTV.com reported.
The cases, all of which are being managed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, include groping, indecent exposure, propositions for sex and a multitude of lewd comments – behaviour that reportedly took place at corporate and franchise locations across 20 cities in the US.
The case has now drawn support from major campaigning bodies including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund – an initiative created to aid those who have experienced sexual harassment at work.
Among the complaints made against McDonald’s management is a case in US city New Orleans in which a manager dismissed a groping complaint because she was “probably giving sex appeal”, and a case in Chicago in which an employee was fired after complaining about a manager exposing himself. Four of these cases involve those under the age of 18.
"I was subjected to a humiliating and intimidating environment at McDonald's and managers did nothing to stop it," McDonald’s employee Jamelia Fairley told NDTV. "To make matters worse, after I reported the sexually explicit language and inappropriate touching I regularly faced, my hours got cut, making it nearly impossible for me to support my daughter."
"McDonald's refuses to take responsibility for harassment experienced by employees in its restaurants," added Gillian Thomas, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU Women's Rights Project. "With this new round of filings, we are seeking relief for them while calling on shareholders to call the company's management to account."
Another case arose in 2016, when 16-year-old employee Brittany Hoyos of McDonald’s Tucson location was subjected to repeated harassment, inappropriate messages and unwarranted advances by her manager. After she made a complaint, she was subjected to retaliation within the workplace, including a demotion from her position as a crew trainer. Ms Hoyos told the New York Times that the interactions became so bad, that she was forced to leave the job.
Whilst specific branches have refused to comment on the numerous allegations, CEO Steve Easterbrook addressed the harassment allegations in a letter sent on Monday to Senator Tammy Duckworth. Easterbrook said McDonald's is "committed to creating and sustaining a culture of trust where employees feel safe, valued and respected."
Holly Gregory Associates are providers of HR Consulting and Change Management Services. As HR Practitioners we have both the in-depth knowledge of the HR landscape (current and future HR strategy) but also experienced Change Agents, so you get two in one: HR Employer Services but also HR Project Management. We are known as trusted advisers, safe pair of hands, get in the dirty quickly, have cross sector knowledge, including both the UK and EMEA. We will work with you to implement appropriate new policies and procedures in the best way possible.
Our Outsourced HR Service for small business will suit if you do not currently have the resources to employ a full time HR Manager, especially as we cover a wide range of HR disciplines. It may be the right time to consider the total HR Managed Services package, or nice to be able to pick and mix bespoke elements e.g. Recruitment, Interim HR Business Partner, Disciplinary, Grievance, HR Operations or help with Redundancy and Employee Relations. We can also act on a retainer for a couple of days a month for some HR oversight and advice e.g. managing Employee Performance, TUPE Regulations or what you need to do to ensure you are complaint with the IR35 Legislation.
Our Change Management services tend to suit companies wanting HR change skills, and we have specialist knowledge which comes in handy when managing, for example, TUPE Mergers, HMRC IR35 Private Sector, Business Restructuring, Organisation Design and/or Digital Transformation. When we deploy changes the fact that we are also tech savvy, is an added benefit to our clients, including providing an independent evaluation on which HR Software or HR Solution they may need e.g. is it HRMS or HRIS?