Attorney Tayeb Hyderally spends much time educating many establishments on matters concerning employment law. He shares his expertise in hopes that knowledge of the laws will reduce the occurrences of discriminatory practices in the workplace. The knowledge of employment law is essential for both employee and employer. Cases of sexual harassment are commonly committed by one in a supervisory position, but not always. Therefore it is important for all workers to remain adequately informed about preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Missoula Mac, Inc. owned 25 McDonald’s franchises in south-central Wisconsin. Recently they were involved in a sexual harassment suit in which female employees who worked at the franchise in Reedsburg, Wisconsin alleged that they had suffered sexual harassment as well as retaliation in the workplace. The female workers complained that co-workers who were male had made many sexual comments along with unwanted and unsolicited physical contact. They also stated that they were forced to kiss and touch the male workers in inappropriate ways. The female workers reported their co-workers harassment but nothing was done to address it or stop it. Complaints continued and then the female workers were terminated. The company’s statement about the case filed with the EEOC did not deny that the inappropriate conduct occurred and actually Missoula Mac officials said that they agree that “improper workplace conduct” did occur but were unsure of the extent. They stated that the company’s employees are encouraged to report any form of sexual harassment.
Rather than continue litigation indefinitely, Missoula Mac chose to settle the case. They figured that the time and finances which a case would consume would be more costly than making a settlement offer. The former owner agreed to pay $1,000,000 to almost a dozen former employees in order to settle the federal sexual harassment suit.
The settlement that the EEOC and the Poynette-based Missoula Mac, Inc. reached included requirements for the corporation to create a position that is specifically created just to handle complaints involving sexual harassment. They also had to create a sexual harassment hotline that would remain available for employees and also train both workers and managers concerning employment rights and the proper way to handle situations should harassment occur.
The company, who stated that they sold the Reedsburg facility last year, had to also create a new position which will be responsible for monitoring, resolving and soliciting complaints about the working environment in their restaurants. The person who holds the position has visit each of the company’s restaurant at least two times per year in order to be available to employees who are encouraged to voice any concerns. Managers are now required to attend a minimum of two hours training on harassment, employment rights, retaliation and how to handle these types of complaints appropriately and efficiently. Hourly employees must also receive training on their rights and responsibilities as well as the proper procedures to report harassment, retaliation or discrimination. The company also created a video which employees must watch before the training sessions. The video contains a message from company President John Orr stressing the importance of zero tolerance toward sexual harassment in the workplace.