Mauricio Bautista was eating a McChicken sandwich to the sound of jazz music at McDonald’s when more than 100 women stormed in with banners, bullhorns and red and yellow fliers, shouting “Keep your burgers, keep your fries, we don’t need your sexist lies.”
It was a dose of harsh #MeToo reality for a multibillion-dollar corporation whose golden arches have drawn children and families to share a Happy Meal for decades. On Tuesday, a group of about 150 people said it had had enough with the illusion of a family-friendly eatery and wanted the company to react to allegations of widespread and systemic sexual harassment at its restaurants.
The organization Fight for $15, which formed to fight for fair wages in the restaurant industry, organized the nationwide protest after learning about repeated cases of harassment that female employees experienced over several years, organizers said. In May, 10 sexual harassment charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Another charge was filed Tuesday after the walkout by an employee in St. Louis, and 17 more were filed in 2016.
The group is asking the EEOC to consolidate and investigate all 10 charges filed in May and any additional allegations of sexual harassment that are still pending. Then, a lawsuit may follow.
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