Racial Discrimination Suit Filed Against McDonald's

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McDonald's Corp. has been sued by 52 Black former franchise owners for alleged racial discriminatory practices. They reportedly seek up to $1 billion of damages.

As per the filing in a Chicago federal court, the fast-food giant is accused of pushing black franchisees to depressed, crime-ridden areas, and of denying financial help given to white franchisees.

The suit alleged that McDonald's did not offer profitable restaurant locations and growth opportunities to Black franchisees on the same terms as white franchisees. They accused that the company steered them to inner-city and urban areas with low-volume sales, and high security and insurance costs. The black franchisees also were refused favorable franchise terms because McDonald's unfairly graded their performance.

In the filing, the franchisees are seeking as much as $5 million in damages for each of more than 200 stores they operated.

McDonald's, in response to the filing, denied the accusation that the franchisees were unable to succeed due to discrimination.

The company said, "We are confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunity of the McDonald's System, including across our franchisees, suppliers and employees."

McDonald's recently had updated its corporate values, pledging a greater focus on diversity.

In May, a group of McDonald's employees in Chicago had filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it failed to take adequate safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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