McDonald’s hit with one other racial discrimination case

McDonald’s is under fire again for racial discrimination claims. According to the latest federal lawsuit, the fast food giant discriminated against black franchisees. The plaintiffs are currently franchised and hope that the lawsuit will be given class-action status. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs include two brothers who own McDonald’s franchises in Tennessee. One brother is James Byrd and the other is Darrel Byrd.

McDonald’s Plaza in Oak Brook, Illinois; Image courtesy of Rob LaRosa via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org

The allegations in the latest lawsuit are similar to the lawsuit filed by 52 former McDonald’s franchisees in September. The brothers argue that McDonald’s “has a predatory growth strategy that moves black franchisees to less profitable locations in black communities with lower sales volumes and higher security costs, and excludes them from the financial support and growth opportunities offered to white franchisees.” The lawsuit goes on to claim that “these practices have seen the number of black franchisees halve since their peak in 1998 and the cash flow gap between white and black franchisees more than tripled.”

As a result of McDonald’s misconduct, the brothers “lost 10 restaurants between them”. The lawsuit continues:

“This model is driving black franchisees further into debt and allowing McDonald’s to view black franchisees as non-growth and / or renewable, while white franchisees offer newer, safer, more profitable locations.”

The brothers are represented by attorney James Ferraro, who also represents plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in September. He said he had “received more than 50 calls from current franchisees about a desire to pursue McDonald’s but also fear that McDonald’s might literally shut them down”. He added that the Byrd brothers are “willing to risk their necks and livelihoods on behalf of others”.

At the moment, the complaint seeks the court to grant class action status, stating that there are “186 current black franchisees who own hundreds of restaurants.”

McDonald’s recently petitioned for the September lawsuit to be dismissed, stating that the allegations violate everything it represents as a company. In addition, a company spokesman said the “statute of limitations has expired in many cases and the franchise agreements did not promise any financial support.” The company also said, “It was illogical to claim that if the company had an interest in making them successful, the company would cause franchisees to fail.”

This latest suit follows several others submitted this year. Earlier this month, three McDonald’s employees sued the company for claims managers at a restaurant in Rock Island, Illinois called “ghetto” and “lazy” by black chefs and cashiers, and retaliated when they pushed back. “

Sources:

McDonald’s has launched a new racial discrimination lawsuit against black franchisees

Black franchisees are suing McDonald’s for racial discrimination

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