Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sexual Harassment at McDonald's

A McDonald's franchisee had to pay $550,000 to young women because of sexual harassment by a middle-aged male supervisor.

One of the victims of the case was Amanda Henry, currently a junior at Northern Arizona University. Henry said, “Teenagers who are employed need to know that they should report any inappropriate behavior to their employers, to their parents, and the EEOC, if necessary. I am happy that our complaints and our actions against LC for the last four and a half years will finally lead to changes which should keep something like this from happening again in the future.”

In the United States, you are protected against sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you are sexually harassed, you may find the information on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website invaluable:

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
  • The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.
It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.

I would add to this that I was sexually harassed at two different jobs from 16 to 19 years old. If you are a parent with a teenager, I would add sexual harassment to one of the on-going issues workplace spirituality issues that you should talk with them about. I honestly had no idea of my rights in the workplace, and I think my parents assumed that the workplaces were inherently safe.

Original story via the Labor Law Center Blog