McDonald’s has received more than 100 complaints relating to sexual assault, harassment, racism and bullying from past and present employees living in the UK.
McDonald’s has apologised for “falling short” after British broadcaster BBC found workers were allegedly being groped and harassed “almost routinely” while on the job.
Over five months, the news platform reached out to dozens of McDonald’s workers to learn about their experiences while working at the fast food restaurant chain.
Out of 100 allegations made, 31 employees claimed they had been sexually assaulted while 78 complaints related to sexual harassment.
Another 18 allegations related to racism while six people claimed they encountered homophobia.
Adult staff members weren’t the only workers making such allegations, with 16 and 17-year-old teenagers also identified as both victims and alleged perpetrators.
“There is a saying at McDonald’s, ‘t*ts on tills’ – boys in the kitchen, girls on the counter. “The idea is to put attractive people at the front,” a 22-year-old woman who worked in Norwich told the BBC.
“It‘s the expectation that if you work at McDonald’s, you will be harassed,” another 20-year-old woman who no longer works at the Brighton branch said.
While it’s not known how many workers lodged formal complaints, a number of employees who contacted the broadcaster claimed their complaints were ignored.
When contacted by the BBC, McDonald’s said all employees deserved to work in a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.
“We will investigate all allegations brought to us, and all proven breaches of our code of conduct will be met with the most severe measures we can legally impose, up to and including dismissal,” Alistair Macrow, chief executive of McDonald‘s UK and Ireland said.
News.com.au is not suggesting such behaviour is occurring across McDonald’s stores in Australia.