Harassment Policies in the Workplace

McDonald’s Corp. has come under fire recently with allegations that they are neglecting harassment in the workplace. Activists were quick to point out why the accusations were swept under the rug, claiming that the misconduct started at the top. In light of Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s Corp, Steve Easterbrook, resigning due to a relationship with a coworker, McDonald’s is now forced to take action.

McDonald’s Corp. has made steps to help resolve the problems it has been facing with workplace misconduct. They have offered training for employees and created a hotline for victims but many have claimed that this is not enough. The policies are encouraged but not enforced so franchisees are not required to incorporate them. 

McDonald’s is not the only large corporation that has been accused of laissez faire policies. Twenty thousand Google workers protested the company’s sexual policies by walking off the job last year. The walk-off was propelled by a New York Times piece which exposed a $90 million exit package given to an executive by Google after a sexual harassment accusation.

More and more sexual harassment cases have been exposed with the recent #metoo and #timesup movements. Businesses both large and small have been forced to take a hard look at how they handle sexual harassment in the workplace. How can companies actively prevent sexual harassment? First, the company’s stance on sexual harassment must come from the top, not just the human resource department. Employees need to know that no one is exempt from the policies put in place, and there is zero tolerance – for all workers.

Next, a process should be put in place for reporting sexual harassment. Many cases go unreported out of fear. Having a well-known policy in place helps promote the safety of employees. The policy should ensure safety and help eliminate fear for the one reporting the harassment.