McDonald's has engaged with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to make a legally binding commitment after receiving complaints from UK employees about sexual harassment. A slew of sexual harassment claims in recent years have rattled the restaurant chain's management.
Thousands of complaints led to an agreement between the company and the UK's human rights agency, according to a report on Wednesday by the BBC.
The exact number of sexual harassment claims lodged by McDonald's employees in the UK is unknown, according to the media outlet, but four years ago the union representing the company's employees, the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), said it had received 1,000 of them.
Christine, a former employee at a McDonald's branch in south London, said she worked there for seven years. She is only mentioned by her first name in the BBC article. In 2018, Christine said she was feeling unwell while working at the restaurant and went into the stockroom to ask for a manager's permission to go home.
The BBC report includes an account of Christine, a former employee at a McDonald's branch in south London, who said that she suffered sexual harassment when she went to her manager for permission to go home since she was unwell. Christine is the only employee whose name is mentioned in the BBC article.
"He started making really inappropriate sexual suggestions that I wasn't comfortable with. He pulled his pants down in the stockroom and wanted me to do inappropriate things," she told the BBC. She described the experience as "terrifying."
McDonald's has taken a number of steps, including pledging to have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment, offering training, and improving procedures at locations all over the UK.
Ian Hodson, national president of the BFAWU, said: "It's shameful that one of the richest corporations on the planet doesn't take sexual harassment seriously until we raise it.
"I pay tribute to all our members who have spoken out on this issue and encourage McDonald's to work with us in ending sexual harassment."