Amid racial tensions in America, McDonald’s has made national news as a significant lawsuit accused the giant corporation of discrimination against their Black franchise owners. The case alleges that McDonald’s encouraged Black franchise owners to start businesses in less lucrative areas and those described as “more dangerous.” Over 50 franchise owners came forward in this case, who had experience operating over 200 McDonald’s locations. The locations that the plaintiffs owned required higher security costs, higher rent, and were not provided the same support as other franchises owned by white franchisees, in addition to several other complaints. However, McDonald’s claims that franchise owners are given the option to select locations where they desire and deny the allegations made against them.
The primary issue with this denial follows the 1990 lawsuit in which McDonald’s admitted to wrong-doing by not affording Black franchise owners the same opportunities as their white peers. In reality, Black owners make around $700,000 less than the national average, while the number of franchises increases. This is not the only racial discrimination case McDonald’s has faced, with two executives alleging that Black franchise owners and other Black executives had faced unfair treatment.
There are clear patterns in this particular case that First Response regularly works to help companies identify and avoid. Prevention through employee and management education is the primary step. McDonald’s has faced similar allegations in the past, a clear starting point for employee courses regarding anti-racism and internal bias. First Response additionally has several programs that work toward resolution if such situations do arise. Our programs effectively determine areas in which a company can improve protection and equality for its employees and assist in creating a path to achieve a solid foundation of company-wide understanding and communication.