Sexual violence and harassment at work: the allegations of McDonald's staff in France


Mediapart and the website StreetPress have spent several months investigating the management of McDonald's branches in France. We have compiled a total of 78 testimonies from staff who describe a workplace in which sexist, racist and homophobic comments often feature, and even in some cases sexual assaults. The restaurant chain has been accused of turning a blind eye to the problem. It says that non-discrimination is a “cornerstone” of the chain's values. Khedidja Zerouali reports.

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On March 9th this year some discreetly-placed stickers adorned the walls in and around several McDonald's restaurants in France. “The female staff here are forced to wear a skirt. Macho McDo” read one. “Abusive managers, McDo accomplices” asserted another, while a third one stated: “Being trans at McDo, that's tough”. At the same time activists from the group McDroits – a collective of current and former staff – were handing out leaflets. “Sick of the obligatory skirt,” it declared. “Fed up with having to smile and be pretty.” The thirty or so staff who gathered to criticise the American multinational's French management said they had “had enough of putting up with comments and pressure just because we're women”.