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Trans Employee Sues McDonald’s For ‘Extreme Sexual Harassment,’ Discrimination

By in Huffington Post on June 17, 2017

By Curtis M. Wong

A former McDonald’s employee is suing the company and a franchise owner after she says she was sexually harassed and subjected to discrimination on the job because she identifies as transgender.

In a May 25 lawsuit, La’Ray Reed claims her superiors at a McDonald’s in Redford, Michigan, subjected her to “extreme sexual harassment and disparate treatment.” The 25-year-old, who worked at the franchise full-time between April and August 2015, said she was referred to as a “boy-slash-girl” and relegated to using an unused bathroom that had been serving as a storage closet because she is trans. She also claims her genitals groped.

“I am transgender, but I have never dealt with anything like that, especially in the work field,” Reed said in a video released Thursday by the workers’ rights group Fight for $15, which is locked in a legal battle with McDonald’s to improve employee pay and conditions. She noted that her hours were slashed, and she was eventually fired, after she spoke to a manager about the abuse. “They actually took me off the schedule,” she said in the clip, which can be viewed above. “So with that being said, it was even more stressful, even more depressing.”

Though McDonald’s has a history of supporting the LGBTQ community, several queer advocacy groups said the lawsuit implied that the company’s inclusive efforts may be hypocritical. “McDonald’s can’t pinkwash its record of harassment and discrimination against LGBTQ workers with a fry box and a parade float,” Pride at Work executive director Jerame Davis said in a press release. “It will take a real commitment to equality and better treatment for its workers to address the horrific […]    

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