What are the sexual abuse claims shaking McDonald's?

What are the sexual abuse claims shaking McDonald's?
McDonalds reveal new Chicken Big Mac

UK McDonald's is embroiled in allegations of sexual assault, harassment, racism and bullying of staff members.

According to a five month BBC investigation, there have been 100 allegations, 31 of which relating to sexual assault, and 78 to sexual harassment.

There were also 18 allegations of racism, while six people made allegations of homophobia.

In one reported case, a manager in Hampshire allegedly suggested a 16-year-old male worker perform sexual acts in exchange for vapes

The BBC also report a 17-year-old current employee in Cheshire said a colleague 20 years older than her called her a racial slur word and asked to show her his penis, and said he wanted to make a "black and white" baby with her.

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In a third case, a worker in Birmingham said she was smacked on the bottom by a male colleague when she was 19 and reported it immediately to her manager. Despite it being caught on camera and her having a visible bruise, she said she was forced to continue working with him, so she quit.

"There is a saying at McDonald's, "tits on tills" - boys in the kitchen, girls on the counter. The idea is to put attractive people at the front," said Lucy, who's 22 and worked in Norwich.

McDonald's is one of the UK's largest private sector employers with 170,000 people working in 1,450 restaurants. It uses a franchise system meaning most workers are not directly employed by the company and are instead employed by individual operators. Three quarters of its employees are aged between 16 and 25.

Responding to the investigation, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chairwoman of the EHRC, said every firm should have zero tolerance of sexual harassment and protect its workforce.

Alistair Macrow, chief executive of McDonald's UK & Ireland, told the BBC there was "simply no place for harassment, abuse, or discrimination" at the company.

"Every one of the 177,000 employees in McDonald's UK deserves to work in a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace. There are clearly instances where we have fallen short and for that we deeply apologise," he told the BBC.

"We will investigate all allegations brought to us, and all proven breaches of our code of conduct will be met with the most severe measures we can legally impose, up to and including dismissal."

Macrow said that more than 2,000 managers had completed full awareness training and that most restaurant teams were now working within the new protections which aim to create "a safe and respectful workplace".

He added that the company has stringent rules to ensure its workplaces around the world are safe and respectful.

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