McDonald’s has been hit by sexual harassment complaints from ten former and current employees.
The women are receiving support from Fight for $15, an organization that works to raise pay for low-wage workers, and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which gives women who cannot afford their own legal cases access to attorney support.
The complaints, which were filed over the last several days with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, cover incidents that have occurred across seven states. While the locations in question are run by franchisees, both McDonald’s Corp. and the franchisee are named in the complaints.
“McDonald’s Corporation takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and are confident our independent franchisees who own and operate approximately 90 percent of our 14,000 U.S. restaurants will do the same,” it continued.
The allegations include lewd comments, groping, indecent exposure, and proposition for sex. In some cases, the women were reportedly mocked or ignored when they sought to report the incidents, while others faced retaliation.
This is not the first time McDonald’s employees have made allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Nearly two years ago, 15 individuals filed a series of complaints against the company, many of which remain pending.
Unlike the 2016 complaints, however, the women are now receiving financial support for their legal fees from the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. The attorneys reportedly plan to ask the EEOC to consolidate or coordinate the 2016 and current complaints. Access to these attorneys, combined with explosion of the #MeToo movement, could alter the case and more effectively hold McDonald’s to account.