Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos reports that workers in Virginia have sued a franchisee of McDonald’s, alleging sexual harassment and racially based firings. While the problem is with a franchise owner, the employees appealed to McDonald’s, which did nothing to help them.
I’m not a hater of McDonald’s. I do want the company to pay higher wages, but this case underscores the problem with franchise models. A major company’s brand can be smeared by a local owner who doesn’t follow policies. If McDonald’s wants to turn around its sales and reputation, it needs to spend less time on commercials about love and focus on treating its customers and employees better. If a franchise owner treats employees poorly, the corporation needs to step in and set thing right. We will love McDonald’s if it does the right thing.