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McDonald’s to roll out anti-harassment employee training initiative

McDonald’s USA will launch an expansive training initiative for its U.S. employees and store managers to support a “professional, safe and respectful workplace.”

The fast-food giant is undertaking the initiative with its National Franchisee Leadership Alliance (NFLA), the elected body representing more than 2,000 McDonald’s U.S. franchisees. McDonald’s said the aim of the program is to educate and empower approximately 850,000 individuals working at its restaurants across the country with important information, resources and training that support building healthy relationships and trusting work environments.

The program, which will start in October, will cover a wide range of topics, including mitigating workplace violence, unconscious bias, anti-bullying tactics and how to report a complaint in the workplace. It will also educate cover harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention and how to appropriately engage as a bystander. Restaurant supervisors and employees will receive training through interactive and computer-based training programs and in-person discussions.

“There is a deeply important conversation around safe and respectful workplaces in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA. “Together with our franchisees, we have a responsibility to take action on this issue and are committed to promoting positive change.”

The new initiative comes as McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have come under pressure for workplace scrutiny. In May, The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and fast-food workers coalition Fight for $15 filed 23 complaints against McDonalds. Twenty were sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and three were filed as civil rights lawsuits. Two suits stemmed from previous allegations.

The new program builds on the training launched in the fall of 2018, which was completed by 95% of U.S. franchisees and restaurant general managers, the company said.
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