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Minnesota Department of Human Rights Secures Consent Decree to Address Sexual Harassment and Assault at McDonald’s Restaurants

1/18/2023 9:42:35 AM

[St. Paul, MN] After suing a McDonald’s franchisee for fostering a culture of sexual harassment that led to a manager sexually assaulting a minor employee, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) today filed a /mdhr/assets/Consent_decree_tcm1061-560405.pdfconsent decree in state court that requires Hyder Investments, Inc. to make sweeping changes at its 14 McDonald’s restaurants. 

“This consent decree means that these McDonald’s restaurants are now safer for employees,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “Sexual harassment in the fast-food industry has long been a reality and this consent decree serves up much needed reform. From policy changes to required trainings to leadership engagement, this comprehensive agreement is a new beginning and an opportunity for culture change at each of these restaurants.” 

The Case

In December 2021, MDHR sued the McDonald’s franchisee for violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act. According to the lawsuit, in 2018, a 24-year-old manager used his position of power to repeatedly sexually assault a 14-year-old employee at a Maple Grove McDonald’s. 

The lawsuit details MDHR’s findings about how the McDonald’s franchisee fostered a culture of sexual harassment. For example, the McDonald’s franchisee’s policies were ineffective and not provided to employees. The policy said that someone could call and report sexual harassment but provided a non-existent telephone number, XXX-XXX-XXXX, made up solely of the letter “X” instead of an actual phone number. Additionally, employees in positions of authority failed to act. Supervisors knew about the inappropriate relationship and did nothing.

Consent Decree 

The consent decree covers four key areas that require the McDonald’s franchisee to address and prevent sexual harassment and assault at its 14 restaurants. 

  1. Policy Changes: Create, maintain, and enforce policies that prevent and address sexual harassment and assault and ensure those policies are easily understood by workers of all ages and available in all languages spoken by employees. 
  2. Effective Reporting Systems: Create systems for reporting harassment and discrimination where employees can report free from retaliation and have the option to report anonymously.  
  3. Required Trainings: Hold regular all employee training on implicit bias, how to appropriately intervene in unwelcome workplace conduct, and information about reporting harassment and discrimination. Supervisors and managers must also be trained on the important role they play in creating safe workplaces.  
  4. Leadership Engagement: To help create a strong culture from the top, the CEO will 1) stress to all employees at biannual meetings that McDonald’s restaurants must be free from harassment and discrimination, 2) meet with non-supervisory employees to hear their feedback and concerns, and 3) work with human resources on a report that outlines employee concerns, action steps to address those concerns, and key metrics to track progress. 

The consent decree was filed in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Court in Hennepin County. Once approved by the court, MDHR will assess the franchisee’s compliance and, if necessary, report any violations of the agreement to the court. 

A separate agreement was reached between Hyder and the former employee who is represented by TSR Injury Law and Conard Nelson Schaffer. 

If you believe you have been discriminated against, submit this online form or call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state’s civil rights enforcement agency and is responsible for enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act, one of the strongest state civil rights laws in the country.


  • /mdhr/assets/Consent_decree_tcm1061-560405.pdfConsent Decree



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