Black franchisee accuses McDonald’s of racial discrimination

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The black owner of 14 McDonald’s franchises said the company favored white owners and denied him the ability to buy restaurants in wealthier communities, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in London. ‘Ohio.

The lawsuit, filed by former professional baseball player Herbert Washington, alleges that the Chicago-based fast food chain discriminated against him, resulting in a sales gap of $ 700,000 between McDonald’s franchises owned by companies. Blacks and whites.

Franchises in low-income neighborhoods cost more to operate, have higher staff turnover, and aren’t as profitable, claims Washington, a former Michigan State University track star who played for two seasons with the Oakland Athletics in the mid-1970s.

“By relegating black owners to older stores in more difficult neighborhoods, McDonald’s ensured that black franchisees would never achieve the levels of success white franchisees could expect,” the lawsuit said. “Black franchisees have to spend more to operate their stores while white franchisees get the most out of their work.”

Over 50 Former Black McDonald’s Franchise Owners made similar claims in a lawsuit filed against the company in October, saying it had been forced to sell around 200 stores over the past decade.

“Targeted me for extinction”

In a video conference on Tuesday, Washington said it has been fighting a two-tier system since buying its first franchise in Rochester, New York, 40 years ago. He once owned 27 restaurants, but has been forced to sell seven stores in recent years to white owners, Washington said.

He now owns 12 restaurants in northeast Ohio and two in Pennsylvania. He blames his advocacy on behalf of the owners of Black McDonald’s for his problems with the business.

“McDonald’s has targeted me for extinction,” Washington said. “The arches are in full-scale retaliation mode against me.”

McDonald’s has denied the claims. In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, McDonald’s said Washington “faces business challenges.” The company “has made a significant investment in its organization” while giving it plenty of opportunities over the years to solve problems, McDonald’s added.


Racial prejudice at work

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“This situation is the result of years of mismanagement on the part of Mr. Washington, whose organization has failed to meet many of our standards for people, operations, customer satisfaction. and reinvestment, ”according to the company.

According to the lawsuit, the number of Black McDonald’s franchise owners in the United States stands at 186 today, up from 377 in 1998. The company said in response that while the total number of its American restaurants had increased from about 12,500 at the end of 1998 to 14,000 today, the percentage of stores owned by blacks “is broadly unchanged”.

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