The fast-food icon ran into further sexual harassment problems in Britain, which came to light just recently.
Over 1,000 cases of sexual harassment have been reported in McDonald’s restaurants in the UK as of 2019, according to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union. BFAWU officials claimed that the company had “swept under the carpet” these accusations and added that workers had reportedly been “victimized” for lodging complaints. The union also said that some employees had been paid compensation on the condition that they signed non-disclosure agreements.
However, because concerns were raised about the company failing to respond effectively, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) became involved. As a result, McDonald’s has signed a legal agreement (announced on February 8, 2023) with the EHRC to protect staff from sexual harassment.
The EHRC told the BBC that it did “not enter into agreements lightly,” and as part of the agreement, the fast-food conglomerate has committed to anti-harassment training for employees, the introduction of training for managers to “identify areas of risks,” and to “take steps to prevent sexual harassment.” The agency is also taking action to require the U.S. business to sign a similar agreement.
Chief executive of McDonald’s in the UK, Alistair Macrow, stated that harassment and abuse “have no place in our society or at McDonald’s.”