Although the EEOC has not confirmed it, labor organizers claim they have named McDonald’s Corp. as a defendant in a series of sexual harassment complaints filed against McDonald’s franchisees.
The move is part of an effort by the Service Employees International Union and its “Fight for $15” campaign to have parent corporations considered joint employers along with their franchisees, and therefore jointly liable for employment law violations.
SEIU officials claim “Fight for $15” organizers have been sexually harassed on the job and that McDonald’s Corp. should be held responsible for the harassment. McDonald’s has consistently held that it is not responsible for the actions of individual franchisees. However, it has said it is reviewing the allegations.
Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board claimed that McDonald’s should be considered as a joint employer in a New York lawsuit that has been mired for months in pretrial motions. A ruling against the parent corporation would significantly increase liability for franchisors in many industries.