McDonald’s Expands Training to Address Workplace Harassment, Violence Prevention

September 4, 2019

The world’s biggest restaurant company, facing complaints from employees and advocacy groups over workplace policies, said it is expanding its training program for restaurant supervisors and crew.

McDonald’s USA and the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance (NFLA), the elected representatives from more than 2,000 McDonald’s U.S. franchisees, said the new program will “educate and empower” the approximately 850,000 workers McDonald’s restaurants across the country “with important information, resources and training that support building healthy relationships and trusting work environments.”

The program will start in October. Restaurant supervisors and crew will be trained through a combination of interactive and computer-based training programs and in-person discussions in the following areas:

  • Mitigating Workplace Violence: Will train employees to recognize indicators and develop skills to safely diffuse difficult situations that may arise with customers, employees and others.
  • Safe and Respectful Workplace: Will educate supervisors and crew on harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention, how to report a complaint and how to appropriately engage as a bystander.
  • Unconscious Bias: Will build understanding for supervisors and crew on how unconscious bias and stereotypes can negatively impact relationships and affect behavior and perceptions.
  • Anti-Bullying: Will support identification and prevention of bullying behavior of all kinds both in and outside of the workplace.
  • Bystander: Will review different bystander scenarios, power dynamics and mitigation tactics.

“There is a deeply important conversation around safe and respectful workplaces in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA. “Together with our franchisees, we have a responsibility to take action on this issue and are committed to promoting positive change. These actions are one more step we are taking to raise awareness at all levels of McDonald’s that will transfer both inside and outside the workplace.”

Over the past three years, restaurant workers have filed dozens of lawsuits and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints against McDonald’s. In June, a group of U.S. senators pressed McDonald’s over its handling of sexual harassment claims and asked the corporation for an accounting of its anti-harassment policies.

McDonalds’ said it has also taken other steps including issuing an enhanced workplace policy on discrimination, harassment and retaliation prevention in January 2019 that sets forth workplace conduct, manager responsibilities, employee resources, and the investigation process.

McDonald’s also said it does not and will not, as a condition of employment, require mandatory arbitration of harassment and discrimination claims.


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