Sexual harassment has drawn increased scrutiny in Michigan and across the nation. Increasingly, workers feel greater freedom to complain about this mistreatment. Some complaints involve prominent companies such as McDonald’s. One case alleging pervasive sexual harassment in Florida was filed in Chicago.

In the class-action filing, the plaintiffs say the company is responsible for the environment in which sexual harassment occurred unchecked. These behaviors included comments, groping and physical assault. People who objected were reportedly retaliated against.

The case was brought by one current employee and one former employee, both women. They hope to front the class-action case for others in the state’s corporate-owned restaurants. There are more than 100 such locations in Florida. They seek $500 million. They say the company did not adequately train workers to prevent sexual harassment and transferred accused workers elsewhere. The woman who is no longer employed by the company spent three years at one location and was fired in 2018. She says the dismissal was because she complained about a male colleague sexually harassing her. The other woman is still employed and stated that two colleagues harassed her.

The company has been dealing with sexual harassment claims since 2016. There is a separate class-action claim in Michigan. The company says it should not be blamed for incidents at franchised restaurants, but the Florida case focuses on locations owned by the corporation and not franchisees. As this case shows, sexual harassment cases can be complex especially if a massive corporation like McDonald’s is involved. Regardless of the employer, workers should be aware of their rights including receiving payment for lost income, punitive damages and compensation for the emotional and mental impact. A law firm experienced in employment law may help.