In Georgia and across the nation, sexual harassment allegations continue to be a problem despite greater attention paid to it and more avenues available for victims to lodge complaints. There are certain segments of the working population who face greater vulnerability for this type of behavior. Fast food workers who are generally working for lower salaries and are deemed relatively easy to replace are among their number. While it might be intimidating and victims are fearful of losing their job, it is important that they understand their rights and consider their options.
A report from CBS News brings to light the troubling amount of sexual harassment allegations that have been lodged against McDonald’s. A growing number of past and present employees at the chain are telling their stories. In the CBS report, four women stated they were subjected to a variety of harassing behaviors. One who was under 18 at the time said she endured comments, unwanted touching and lewd statements from a male manager. A second said she was harassed by a new colleague and when she complained about it up the restaurant’s chain of command, nothing of note was done. In fact, the behavior grew worse.
These allegations are part of a series of lawsuits that have been filed against the chain. More than 50 workers said they were sexually harassed and complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A poll found that three-quarters of nearly 800 female employees said they were harassed in some way. Seventy-one percent stated they were penalized for reporting it. The company has put forth public statements about its commitment to a safe and inclusive workplace, free from harassment. Still, the fast food industry in general leaves its workers at risk for this treatment.
When an employee in any industry is mistreated and subjected to sexual harassment and other illegal behaviors, it is important to know that there are ways to address the issue. There are certain fundamentals that must be in place such as the harassment being of sufficient severity to negatively impact the employee; a report was made to management; and there was an absence of necessary action on the part of the employer. Regardless of the circumstances, many workers are not even aware that they have a viable case until they consult with experienced professionals. Sexual harassment does not need to be tolerated. Considering a legal filing may require legal help and calling for advice is a wise step.