A group that includes dozens of former African-American franchise owners from California and other parts of the country filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for discrimination. The suit alleges that the company placed plaintiffs in locations that prevented them from having an equal chance at achieving growth and profitability. Plaintiffs are asking for as much as $1 billion in damages.
Employment law experts note that the lawsuit’s filing comes not long after public statements from McDonald’s voicing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The company condemned racist behavior after a video of a Black man killed in Minnesota by police sparked national outrage.
The CEO of McDonald’s announced plans by the company to do more to provide racial equality within its ranks in June of 2020. This acknowledgment took place after a lawsuit from two executives accusing the company of limiting opportunities for African-American managers and franchisees. The CEO urged concerned parties to keep in mind that McDonald’s is responsible for making more African-American millionaires than any other business brand.
The plaintiffs in the current lawsuit include 52 former franchise owners who say their average sales were about $2 million from 2011 to 2016. The plaintiffs say this number is about $700,000 less than the national average for the chain. The plaintiffs say the lower than average sales lead many of them to file for bankruptcy.
A statement released from McDonald’s denied the plaintiff’s assertion that racial discrimination prevented African-American franchise owners from reaching success with the company. The company also expressed confidence that the commitment it shows to diversity will become evident to all after the revealing of all facts.
All companies possess a legal responsibility to provide a workplace free from discrimination. This legal responsibility covers all employees, managers, upper-level executives, and franchise owners. Individuals who feel they have suffered discrimination in the workplace may have a better chance at a remedy by speaking with an employment law attorney.