Black Workers File Lawsuits Alleging Racial Discrimination by McDonald’s and Retaliation for Speaking Out

On October 13, 2020, Black workers at a corporate-owned and operated McDonald’s restaurant located in Lakeland, Florida, filed an amended complaint alleging that they were fired for filing an earlier civil rights lawsuit against McDonald’s in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Plaintiffs Monica Scott and Augusta Moody alleged that McDonald’s used trumped up discipline as an excuse to fire them less than three months after they filed their original lawsuit.  Together with Plaintiff Faith Booker, they alleged in the original lawsuit that their general manager made racist comments about Black people, created a hostile work environment, and subjected Black workers and customers to discriminatory treatment.  The lawsuit further alleges that the regional manager and a human resources representative notified about the discriminatory behavior failed to remedy the situation.  Plaintiffs are represented by Altshuler Berzon LLP, Peter Helwig of Harris & Helwig, PA, and Mary Joyce Carlson.

Also on October 13, 2020, Black workers at a franchise-operated McDonald’s restaurant located in Rock Island, Illinois, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois alleging that McDonald’s subjected them to a hostile work environment and disparate treatment.  Plaintiffs Stephanie Stevenson and Selynda Middlebrook, along with the father of a minor, A.G., alleged that managers called Black workers “ghetto” and “smelly” and said Plaintiff Middlebrook “shouldn’t exist,” reduced the hours of Black workers to the point that they were unable to support their families, and eventually fired Stevenson when she complained.  Plaintiffs are represented by Altshuler Berzon LLP and Dowd, Block, Bennett, Cervone, Auerbach & Yokich.