A McDonald’s franchise owner with locations in Texas pay $340,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in its lawsuit against Credle Enterprises LLC, which does business as McDonald’s in the Texas panhandle, that eight women who worked for the company were subjected to sexual harassment. The EEOC charged that two male employees, one of whom was the general manager, subjected the female employees to physical touching, sexual jokes and the display of pornographic images. The EEOC also charged that although management was aware of the harassment, no action was taken to prevent it from continuing.
The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division (EEOC v. Credle Enterprises, LLC d/b/a McDonald’s, Civil Action No. 5:18-CV-00239-C), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The four-year consent decree settling the suit, signed on Nov. 21, calls for the company to provide $240,000 in monetary relief to eight women who were subjected to sexual harassment, and includes an additional class distribution fund of $100,000 for administration by the EEOC to any other female employees subjected to harassment who were employed with the company during the relevant time.
Beyond the monetary terms of resolution, the decree requires the employer to implement measures to guard against sexual harassment going forward. Such measures include the designation of a managerial employee who will be responsible for ensuring that Credle employees are trained on their rights and responsibilities under Title VII, as well as the company’s policies and procedures on harassment, and for conducting investigations of all complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation.
The company will also conduct detailed annual sexual harassment training for all employees that encompasses topics such as respect and civility in the workplace; the ways in which employees can report unwelcome workplace behavior; how an employee who believes she has witnessed harassment can appropriately intervene; and the consequences of engaging in inappropriate conduct.
Credle Enterprises LLC d/b/a McDonald’s operates three McDonald’s franchises in northwest Texas. In addition to its location in Muleshoe, the company operates McDonald’s stores in Hereford and Littlefield.
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