McDonald’s California employees should be aware that Black employees have sued the fast-food giant in two other states for racial discrimination. This is the fourth time McDonald’s has been sued for discrimination within the past year.

What kind of discrimination is being alleged?

In a civil rights lawsuit, Black employees from Rock Island, Illinois, allege that they were subjected to racial slurs and disparate punishments compared to white employees’ discipline. The disparate punishments resulted in fewer work hours for the employees. In a separate suit in Lakeland, Florida, two employees say they were fired after speaking up about their abusive work environment.

Slashed hours and slurs

The three Illinois employees who filed the suit say that the general manager and other supervisors often referred to Black employees as “lazy” and “ghetto.” They also allege that the general manager targeted Black employees when cutting hours and shifts.

Experts say that the Illinois allegations are symptomatic of pervasive racism in the McDonald’s culture. The C-suite executives need to address the anti-Black sentiment throughout the organization. Labor advocates and workers say that the lawsuits highlight what they call “corporate hypocrisy” of companies that publicly claim to support diversity while their practices are totally different.

McDonald’s has faced allegations of racism at all levels of the company. Fifty-two Black former McDonald’s franchisees filed a lawsuit in federal court. They allege that they were not given the same opportunities as their white peers. The group operated more than 200 stores over a period of 30 years between 1988 and 2018.

Discrimination can come in many forms in the workplace. If you believe that you may have been unfairly treated where you work, you may wish to consult with an attorney familiar with employment law in your jurisdiction.