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Officials from 31 states urge McDonald's to fix harassment issue

On Sept. 26, local government officials from 31 states sent a letter to McDonald's Corp urging the company to improve sexual harassment protections for workers in Florida and across the country. The letter, which supports an employee-led campaign on the same issue, was sent by advocacy organization Local Progress.

In the letter, 115 signees, which included city mayors, councilors, commissioners and school board members, asked McDonald's to listen to worker stories regarding harassment and develop an effective plan to end the problem. They also claimed that over 50 of the fast food giant's employees have filed sexual harassment complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The letter is just the latest effort to pressure McDonald's into increasing employee wages and eliminating sexual harassment at its approximately 14,000 U.S. franchise locations. Earlier this year, members of the U.S. House of Representatives also sent a letter to the company requesting action on similar issues. On Sept. 24, employees at a Los Angeles McDonald's franchise staged a walkout in protest of the company's failure to address workplace sexual harassment or engage in constructive conversations with workers regarding the problem. However, in 2018, the restaurant chain announced that it started working with RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence group. In addition, the company announced in August that it will launch a new program to reduce incidents of bias, bullying and harassment against its employees. The program is slated to begin in October.

Restaurant workers who have been subjected to workplace sexual harassment might want to retain legal assistance. An attorney could review a worker's case and help collect evidence supporting his or her claim. This evidence might then be used as the basis for filing a sexual harassment claim with the EEOC, which could lead to a settlement for a variety of damages.

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