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McDonald’s makes 2m workers take anti-harassment training

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McDonald's - Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg
McDonald's - Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

McDonald's will make its 2m workers take anti-harassment training following a slew of workplace abuse claims.

The fast food chain said training would be mandatory for all staff at its 39,000 restaurants worldwide from January in a bid to end harassment, discrimination and violence.

Chris Kempczinski, the chief executive of McDonald's, told staff there was a "business imperative and social obligation to make the restaurants, communities and world more equitable".

He said the company needed to "strive for - and achieve - consistently high standards, and when we or our franchisees fall short, we must all have a system in place to address those shortfalls immediately".

The new training comes as McDonald's seeks to address allegations that it has ignored harassment taking place in its restaurants.

More than 90pc of McDonald's restaurants are franchised. In the past the company has argued that franchisees should be held responsible for actions by staff in their restaurants.

More recently, the company has been attempting to make changes following a backlash from workers. More than 50 staff have filed charges and taken legal action against McDonald's.

In some of the legal action workers claimed managers had engaged in retaliatory behaviour after they logged complaints over inappropriate behaviour and assaults in the workplace.

In the past, McDonald's had trained franchise owners on its harassment policies and set up a complaint hotline for staff, but had not required training for all those within McDonald's-branded restaurants.

Steve Easterbrook, the former CEO of McDonald's -  McDonald's
Steve Easterbrook, the former CEO of McDonald's - McDonald's

Pressure over harassment and discrimination in its restaurants has come amid a period of turmoil for McDonald's. Former chief executive Steve Easterbrook was fired in late 2019 after he had a relationship with an employee.

The British-born businessman is taking legal action against McDonald's and Mr Easterbrook.

The restaurant claimed Mr Easterbook lied about four alleged sexual relationships with staff members to receive his compensation package.

Earlier this year, a judge in Delaware ruled that McDonald's could pursue legal claims against the former chief executive.

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