In California, workers in any industry can be subjected to employer retaliation, sexual harassment and other workplace violations. Some employees are more vulnerable than others and people who work in the fast food industry fall into this category. Because they are viewed as people employers might deem easily replaceable, it might be perceived as easier to disregard complaints about how fast food workers are treated. However, workers should remember they have rights and there may be recourse if they are mistreated.
According to recent reports, a group of workers at a Los Angeles McDonald’s planned a walkout because of retaliation and sexual harassment. According to them, speaking out about the problems has only made it worse. This walkout is in one specific restaurant, but worker abuse has been an ongoing complaint for fast food employees. The striking workers are believed to be the second such employees to take this drastic step in the last century.
This is happening despite a decision earlier in 2019 that McDonald’s would put in place a policy that deals with sexual harassment. The policy does not listen to workers and has not stopped sexual harassment in many locations, according to some people. Earlier this year, 50 restaurant employees complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about continued harassment. Three of those workers are employed at the restaurant where the walkout is taking place.
Despite certain rights provided under the law, workers have always been vulnerable to the whims and mistreatment of employers. From harassment to discrimination to wage violations and more, employers must constantly be cognizant of what employers can do, seemingly without penalty. Speaking out and pursuing complaints is one of the few ways that employees can get what they are owed and be treated fairly under the law.
In the era of the “Me Too” movement, when workers are willing to fight back against employment violations, there remain certain segments of the working population who are fearful of consequences if they do speak up. There should not be reluctance to combat workplace violations and pursue potential legal options for employer retaliation.