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Reps Speier and Clark Joined by Nearly 50 House Democrats in Requesting McDonald’s Respond to Growing Sexual Harassment and Assault Allegations

July 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswomen Jackie Speier (CA-14), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, and Katherine Clark (MA-5), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, joined by 49 of their Democratic colleagues, sent a letter to the McDonald’s Corporation in response to the growing number of complaints filed by workers alleging sexual assault and harassment. The letter requests information from the corporation on the training they are developing to prevent sexual harassment, how they plan to implement the training across their franchise locations, as well as how they will integrate worker feedback in the training.

“While members of Congress are working to ensure that anti-harassment and discrimination laws are updated and enforced, industry leaders also have a responsibility to implement forward-thinking, comprehensive policies that create safe and healthy workplaces for all workers,” the Members wrote in their letter. “The McDonald’s Corporation owes it to its workers and customers to ensure that everyone who wears the McDonald’s uniform is able to work in a safe environment, free from harassment and discrimination. We urge you to engage directly with workers throughout this discussion, as they are the ones who have been and will be impacted by anti-harassment and discrimination policies.”

The Members hope to elevate the rights and dignity of workers and support McDonald’s as it engages in a deliberative process to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination.

“For three years, workers like me have been speaking out, filing charges and even going on strike to get McDonald’s to do something about sexual harassment,” said Latarsha Smith, McDonald’s worker and Fight for $15 Union leader from Myrtle Beach, SC who filed an EEOC charge in May alleging sexual harassment and retaliation by her manager. “With Rep. Katherine Clark and other members of Congress joining with us to try to hold McDonald’s accountable, our voices are even louder. We’re grateful to have these representatives join our calls for accountability, demanding that McDonald's ensure safe workplaces, free of harassment, for all its workers.”    

“We thank Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Jackie Speier, and the members of the House of Representatives who are calling upon McDonald’s to take responsibility for its pervasive culture of sexual harassment,” said ACLU senior staff attorney Gillian Thomas. “McDonald’s is the biggest name in fast food and it is long past time that it listen to workers’ stories of abuse, and collaborate with them to effect real, lasting reform.”  

“McDonald’s has failed to confront its pervasive problem of sexual harassment,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). “McDonald’s can turn its abysmal track record around and take a significant lead in an industry that’s rampant with abuse. It can start by listening to its workers.”

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