Christine was working at a South London branch of McDonald’s in 2018 when, she says, she was sexually harassed by a manager.
“He pulled his pants down in the stockroom,” she said, adding the experience left her “terrified”.
Her story comes after McDonald’s signed an agreement with the UK equality watchdog following concerns over how it handled sexual harassment complaints.
McDonald’s said Christine’s experiences were “completely unacceptable”.
“We are extremely concerned to hear these allegations,” a spokesperson said. “We would encourage them to contact us directly so we can investigate immediately.”
The number of complaints of sexual harassment made by McDonald’s workers in the UK is unclear, but four years ago the union representing the company’s employees, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), said it had received 1,000 of them.
Concerns were raised by employees via the union about inadequate processes to deal with the allegations, which led the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to get involved.
The fast food giant has now signed a legal agreement with the EHRC to protect staff from sexual harassment. The EHRC told the BBC that it did “not enter into agreements lightly”.
Christine, who has waived her right to anonymity, started working at McDonald’s in 2011, having just moved to London. She told the BBC she “thought it would be really great”, but added “I had no idea what I was walking into”.
She described a toxic workplace culture, with managers flirting with more junior staff, and another manager going around “touching everyone’s bum”.
“I saw a lot of things that were not okay,” she said.
She described how one manager regularly came up to her and said “inappropriate things”. (BBC)