McDonald’s workers speak out against sexual abuse, harassment, and racism in UK

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McDonald’s workers in the UK have come forward with allegations of a toxic culture of sexual assault, harassment, racism, and bullying at the fast-food chain.

Over 100 current and former employees, some as young as 17, have reported incidents of groping and routine harassment.

The BBC’s investigation revealed 31 allegations of sexual assault, 78 allegations of sexual harassment, 18 allegations of racism, and 6 allegations of homophobia among McDonald’s workers.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) expressed concern and is launching an email hotline in response to these findings. McDonald’s has acknowledged that it has “fallen short” and has issued a deep apology, emphasizing that all employees deserve a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace.

The company had previously signed an agreement with the EHRC to protect its staff from sexual harassment, but the investigation paints a different reality.

The incidents of harassment and assault were primarily attributed to managers at McDonald’s outlets across the UK, and several employees mentioned sexual relationships between managers and junior staff, which is against company policy.

The workers also described feeling constantly judged based on their appearance, with some being pressured to wear uniforms that were too tight.

McDonald’s, as one of the UK’s largest private sector employers with over 170,000 employees, mostly aged 16 to 25, operates under a franchise system where individual operators are responsible for employing staff.


  1. Nothungs changed then. I worked in a mcdonalds in the 80s when I was 16 and it was the same then, I remember one manager after I’d had a go at how he’d touched me inappropriately, he laughed then dragged me into the men’s toilet and tried to put my head down the pan and flushed it, All while laughing saying this is what happens to those who complain. I left that week.

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