McDonald’s Asks Judge to Dismiss Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

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Fast food giant McDonald’s is looking to dismiss a racial discrimination lawsuit against the company that was filed by former franchisees.

The company is asking a judge to dismiss the racial discrimination lawsuit that was filed by 52 former franchisees and has argued that it wants every operator in its system to thrive.

It was this past September that the plaintiffs filed their complaint, alleging that the company denied them the same opportunities as White operators.

The former franchisees alleged that McDonald’s had steered Black franchisees to low-income neighborhoods, where they had higher security and insurance expenses and lower sales.

The plaintiffs say their losses are $4 million to $5 million per location on average, after subtracting restaurants’ costs from missed revenue over the years active.

McDonald’s has said that the complaint from 52 Black plaintiffs relies on “vague and conclusory allegations” and fails to provide viable claims of intentional race discrimination, breach of contract and fraud.

The fast food company argues that the statutes of limitations for such claims has expired, based on when the operators exited the franchise. The statute of limitations in Illinois, where the suit was filed, for discrimination during a contract is only four years.

Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general and current legal counsel for McDonald’s on the case, said in a statement, “Plaintiffs’ case is based on the illogical theory that McDonald’s went into business with Black franchisees for the sole purpose of seeing them fail, despite the company’s obvious interest in franchisees maintaining successful and profitable restaurants.”
McDonald’s has said that it takes the allegations in the case very seriously.

“We will defend against this lawsuit even as we move forward with the actions needed to foster an environment where equitable opportunity is part of the lived experience for McDonald’s franchisees, suppliers and employees,” the company stated.

McDonald’s has faced at least four lawsuits this year that claim racial discrimination. This past January two senior McDonald’s executives, Vicki Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal, filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging racial discrimination. Restaurant workers in Illinois and Florida have also filed two separate cases alleging harassment and retaliation tied to their race.

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.