On Monday, Florida McDonald's workers announced they had filed a $500 million class-action lawsuit against McDonald's, alleging the fast-food giant has a "systemic sexual harassment problem." Jamelia Fairley and Ashley Reddick are the named plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed on behalf of the 5,000 women who worked at the 100 corporate-run McDonald's locations in Florida since 2016. Fairley and Reddick were coworkers at a McDonald's location in Florida, where they say that women faced physical assaults, groping, and sexually-charged comments on the job. Reddick said she dealt with sexual comments from a male coworker, who said things such as "I didn't know you had boobs like that." The coworker allegedly would rub his groin against Reddick and showed her a picture of his private parts on his phone without her consent.
“Will There Ever Be a #MeToo-Style Movement for Bad Bosses?” New York magazine asked readers in a tone-deaf fog of obliviousness last month. The piece itself was fairly benign, addressing the long-standing and profoundly dubious cult of the genius boss. The trouble was with the headline—which, it must be noted, was almost certainly chosen by a New York editor, not the writer, feminist author Rebecca Traister. Just moments after the piece was blasted out on Twitter, Labor Twitter blasted right back. As veteran labor journalist Sarah Jaffe replied in an apt tone of disbelief, “It’s called the labor movement?”
McDonald’s workers in 10 U.S. cities plan to strike Tuesday at lunchtime over sexual harassment and subsequent retaliation at the fast-food company. “Whatever [anti-harassment] policy they have is not effective,” Mary Joyce Carlson, an attorney with Fight for $15, a fair pay organization, told The Associated Press. Carlson has been working with 10 McDonald’s workers who filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about predatory workplace behavior including groping and propositions for sex. “I couldn’t deal with it physically, just going into the workplace,” Tanya Harrel said. Harrel, who claims to have experienced sexual harassment twice from two different coworkers over the course of a month at a New Orleans McDonald’s, filed a complaint with the EEOC backed by the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.
By David Rosen for Counterpunch. Within the limits of a highly-structure class system, gender relations are fundamentally changing. Most attention is focused on female actors and political figures. Unfortunately, the same abuse is being perpetrated against female assembly-line workers, retail clerks and nannies. Hopefully, the celebrities will empower working women to point an accusing finger and say “No!” to sexual abuse. The once mythic male as the family bread-winner that defined the post-WW-II society of the “American Dream” is giving way to the two-income household, but with women still most often pulling most of the domestic chores (e.g., running the household, raising the family, socializing). The male sex-abuse scandals are a symptom of the transformation of gender power relations. It’s time to change the way the legal system deals with sex offenders.
By Emily Wells for Truth Dig - The policy would directly contradict the 1994 Violence Against Women Act’s rape shield laws, which are designed to prevent defendants from introducing victims’ sexual history or reputation as evidence in proceedings. The legal information website Nolo says that challenges to rape shield laws historically have been unsuccessful: The Constitution guarantees a defendant the right to confront the victim, or accuser, at trial. Defendants have argued that rape shield laws abuse this right by hiding victims’ previous sexual behavior. But, indicative of the nationwide approach, an Illinois court held that a defendant’s right to confrontation doesn’t include a right to present irrelevant evidence such as the victim’s reputation and sexual acts with other people. (People v. Cornes, 80 Ill.App.3d 166 (1980).) After DeVos’ announcement to roll back victim protections, 20 state attorneys general signed a letter urging her to keep the protections in place.
By RT. Female workers at McDonald’s are sick of being treated like meat. They are accusing the Golden Arches of not protecting employees against sexual harassment. Backed by the minimum wage campaign “Fight for $15,” workers are taking to the streets to demand better treatment. McDonald’s claims to have a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, but over a dozen sexual harassment complaints against the fast food giant paint a different story. In the past month alone, 15 different sexual harassment complaints have been filled with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against McDonald's. As a result, workers in 30 US cities joined in a lunchtime protest to draw attention to what some believe is a widespread problem. Protesters held demonstrations outside of the restaurant.
By Christopher Robbins in Gothamist - An Occupy Wall Street protester who had her breast grabbed by an NYPD sergeant has won a $95,000 settlement from the city after arguing that "the police department demonstrated a pattern of sexual misconduct against female OWS activists." Cressa Perloff was arrested on March 17th, 2012, while she stood on the sidewalk during a demonstration to commemorate the six-month anniversary of OWS. In a statement, Perloff's attorney, Rebecca Heinegg, says that video from that date shows that NYPD Sergeant Joseph Catapano "grabbed her breast purposefully, dragged her into the street by her breast and hair, and arrested her." Catapano claimed that Perloff, who had never been arrested before, was trying to steal his badge, though he later admitted that this was untrue.