US: McDonald’s accused of favoring white owners

A black man who owns 14 McDonald’s franchises in Ohio accused the restaurant chain of treating white owners more favorably and denying him the opportunity to acquire restaurants in more affluent communities, according to a lawsuit. civil rights court filed in Youngstown federal court.

The lawsuit brought by Herbert Washington, who was a college athletic star and played for part of two seasons with the Oakland Athletics baseball team in the mid-1970s, said the discriminatory practices of the company, based in Chicago, they had caused a $ 700,000 difference in sales between African-American and white-owned franchises.

Franchises located in low-income neighborhoods have higher operating costs, higher staff turnover and are less profitable, the lawsuit says.

“By relegating black owners to older stores in the toughest neighborhoods, McDonald’s ensured that black-owned franchises never achieve the levels of success that white-owned franchises can aspire to.” it reads in the complaint.

In September 2020, more than 50 former black McDonald’s franchisees made similar statements in a lawsuit brought against the company.

McDonald’s issued a statement rejecting Washington’s claims.

The company said the man “faces business challenges” for which the company has “invested significantly in his organization,” while offering him “multiple opportunities over several years to solve these problems.”

“This situation is the result of years of mismanagement by Mr. Washington, whose organization has failed to meet many of our standards in terms of personnel, operations, customer satisfaction and reinvestment,” the statement said.