November 22, 2019
[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with McDonald’s workers and representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to hear directly from the company’s employees about harassment and retaliation they have experienced. Following the meeting, Duckworth reiterated her call for the company to improve its protections against harassment in a letter to the new CEO, Chris Kempczinski. McDonald’s previous CEO never responded to Duckworth’s initial request, which she sent nearly six months ago. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.
“I’m disappointed to hear from these workers that workplace harassment, abuse and retaliation are still commonplace at McDonald’s locations, and it’s unacceptable that they have not been adequately addressed by the company,” Duckworth said. “McDonald’s must enact greater enforcement policies against owner operators who do not administer appropriate trainings or who fail to maintain a safe work environment.”
Duckworth wrote to former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook in June, asking McDonald’s to do more to address allegations of workplace harassment, abuse and retaliation suffered by all workers, particularly those at franchise locations. After not receiving a response, the Senator called on McDonald’s new CEO Chris Kempczinski today to make addressing these efforts his top priority. She also wrote to McDonald’s in late 2018 to urge the corporation to improve its protections against sexual harassment after she heard from McDonald’s workers who had serious workplace safety concerns.
A full copy of the letter sent today is available online here and below:
Dear Mr. Kempczinski:
I write regarding McDonald’s Corporation’s ongoing efforts to address workplace harassment, abuse and retaliation. In June 2019, I and seven other United States Senators wrote to your predecessor urging him to ensure that all workers in a McDonald’s uniform feel safe and protected in the workplace. Given the gravity of these issues, I am disappointed and frustrated that – after almost six months – McDonald’s has still not responded in writing to that letter.
As you begin your tenure as CEO, your top priority should be helping those who put on a McDonald’s uniform feel safe when they go to work. Today I sat down with several McDonald’s workers who feel that the company and your predecessor have failed to adequately address their concerns.
As my colleagues and I wrote in June, ongoing reports of workplace harassment, abuse and retaliation at McDonald’s locations are unacceptable. I believe McDonald’s must enact greater enforcement policies against independent owner operators who do not administer appropriate trainings or who fail to maintain a safe work environment. In addition, I believe it would be beneficial for you to meet with these workers personally to hear their stories and experiences.
With all those concerns in mind, it is my sincere hope that you will provide a prompt reply to the original letter and answer our detailed questions. I have enclosed an additional copy of that letter here.
I appreciate your attention to this important matter, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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