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McDonalds Accused of Race Discrimination

Two senior female McDonald’s executives have filed a lawsuit accusing the fast-food company of discriminating against African-American customers and staff. When the women protested the discriminatory conduct, they allege there were retaliated against. They are seeking damages and lost pay resulting from their demotions.
Vicki Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal claim that when Steve Easterbook and Chris Kempczinksi came in 2015, they “purged” high-ranking black executives. Easterbrook was recently forced to leave the company after it was reported that he engaged in an affair with a female employee. The lawsuit alleges that in the period from 2015 to 2019, 30 black officers were fired and five black executives were demoted, including Hines and Neal. They assert that training programs were shelved and colleagues were described as “Angry Black Women.” Moreover, the women allege that the number of franchises owned by black individuals decreased by a stark amount, and some were treated unfairly. The company purportedly pushed out the franchisees by grading them unfairly and preventing owners from selling their restaurants on an open market. While all franchisees could be subject to this behavior, the women allege that African-American franchisees were “disparately strong-armed.” Moreover, Hines and Neal asserted that McDonald’s shifted advertising away from black consumers and “no longer valued African Americans as paying customers.”
McDonald's has responded, disagreeing with the characterizations and stating that many officer-level positions have decreased over the last five years. The company asserted that that 45% of the current corporate officers are individuals of color. It also asserted that it launched a large African-American focused marketing campaign and that diversity and gender are a priority.