The owner and franchisee of 25 McDonald’s Restaurants, Missoula Mac, Inc., has recently agreed to pay $1,000,000 to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Madison last April, 2011.
The lawsuit came about after several of its female employees filed a sexual harassment complaint before the office of the EEOC.
According to court documents, since 2006, some of Missoula Mac’s male employees in Reedsburg McDonalds subjected female employees to sexual harassment, including sexual comments, kissing, touching of their private parts, and forcing of their hands onto the men’s private parts. In fact, one of the harassed female employees was forced to quit her job because of the hostile environment, while two were fired after complaining about their co-employees’ misconduct. Other complainants were still employed at Reedsburg when the charges were made.
The lawsuit further claimed that despite being notified of the situation, the restaurant management in Missoula failed to conduct immediate and proper action to stop the harassment that resulted in a hostile environment.
Apparently, Missoula Mac violated federal civil rights law when it allowed its male employees to create a hostile environment of sexual harassment against female co-workers, including those teenager employees, and when it retaliated against those who complained about the harassment.
In addition to the monetary relief, Missoula Mac is likewise required to enter into a four-year consent decree and provide substantial injunctive relief to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit.
Ever since, sexual harassment has been a growing problem in the workplace. Each year, more than 15,000 cases are being filed before the EEOC. Also, studies revealed that around 40 to 70 percent of the victims are female, while only 1 to 20 percent are male.
Statistics only show that female employees are more prone to sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, male and female employees receive the same extent of protection from state and federal government, a Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer said.