AP – McDonald’s will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting next year, the company said yesterday.
The training requirement will impact two million workers at 39,000 stores worldwide.
“It’s really important that we be very clear: a safe and respectful workplace where people feel like they’re going to be protected is critically important for our business,” McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chris Kempczinski told The Associated Press (AP) in an interview. “It’s just what society is expecting.”
The change is part of a larger reckoning over sexual harassment at McDonald’s. At least 50 workers have filed charges against the company over the last five years, alleging physical and verbal harassment and, in some cases, retaliation when they complained.
The problem wasn’t confined to restaurants. In November 2019, McDonald’s fired its former CEO Steve Easterbrook after he acknowledged having a relationship with an employee.
Kempczinski, who joined McDonald’s in 2015, said the company needs to set expectations and then continually refer to them, especially since staff turnover in restaurants can be high.
“If you’re not constantly talking about values and keeping them in the fore, if you get complacent, then perhaps they’re not as obvious to people or they’re not as inspiring as they could be,” he said.