McDonald's Sued by Chicago Workers for Increased Risk of Violence -- Update
By Patrick Thomas
A group of Chicago-area McDonald's Corp. (MCD) workers sued the
fast-food chain on Thursday, accusing it of not doing enough to
protect employees against violent incidents at its restaurants.
The lawsuit alleges that McDonald's stores open overnight lack
certain safety best practices for late-night businesses. The
complaint argues the stores should have physical barriers between
workers and customers and that drive-thru windows should be
designed to prevent customers from being able to enter through the
The complaint also alleges that restaurant windows and doors
plastered with advertising materials make workers more susceptible
A company spokeswoman said McDonald's takes its responsibility
to provide a safe working environment for its employees seriously
and, along with its franchisees, continues to make investments in
training programs that bolster the safety of its customers and
"In addition to training, McDonald's maintains stringent
policies against violence in our restaurants," a company
The suit, filed in state court in Cook County, Ill. by 17
employees, focuses on 13 corporate- and franchise-owned McDonald's
restaurants in the Chicago area.
At a McDonald's where three of the plaintiffs worked, the suit
alleges that the restaurant lowered the height of its check-out
counter in 2018, leading to several instances of customers jumping
on top of or over it, including one where a customer hopped over
and waved a gun at workers.
"McDonald's has failed, at a systemic level, to protect its
workers from violence in the workplace," Danny Rosenthal, one of
the plaintiff's attorneys, said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union and a
group of workers from Michigan accused the fast-food giant in a
lawsuit of not properly handling allegations of sexual harassment
at one of its restaurants.
The company has said it has demonstrated its commitment to safe
and respectful workplaces by implementing antiharassment training
at all of its corporate-owned restaurants.
The company strengthened the training and protocol for reporting
potential employee misconduct this year for its roughly 850,000
The company has faced additional challenges at its U.S.
restaurants this year. Labor organizers and some lawmakers have
called on the company to address workplace harassment issues and
raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Write to Patrick Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 21, 2019 11:02 ET (16:02 GMT)
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