According to sources, a group of minority fast food workers accused McDonald’s Corp. of violating their civil rights in a new lawsuit between the Fight For 15 movement and the Oak Brook, Ill.-based multinational.
Backed by the Service Employees International Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, ten workers filed a federal complaint in Virginia today against McDonald’s and one of its 2,500 independent owner-operators, a franchisee company called Soweva.
Were people fired for being black?
The workers, nine of whom are black, say Soweva managers told them they needed to “get the ghetto out of the store” and fired them after hiring a string of white employees in 2014. McDonald’s corporate headquarters failed to correct the alleged discrimination and should be held liable as well, the complaint said.
The complaint, which also alleges instances of sexual harassment, seeks damages under Title VII of 1964’s Civil Rights Act.
It comes at a time when McDonald’s is facing increased exposure to labor complaints and lawsuits. By naming McDonald’s Corp.in the complaint, these legal actions challenge the legitimacy of McDonald’s’ contractual agreement with franchisees, which stipulates that McDonald’s Corp. can’t be held liable for any labor law violations committed in their restaurants.