McDonald’s must pay $33.5 million to a black man who owns multiple franchises of the fast food restaurant to settle a lawsuit he filed against the company in which he alleged racial discrimination.
Herb Washington, a former baseball player, owned more than a dozen McDonald’s franchises across Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In February 2021, Washington claimed in a lawsuit that McDonald’s treated white franchisees more favorably than black franchisees. The claim stemmed from the company denying him the ability to purchase McDonald’s locations in wealthier communities.
In the lawsuit, Washington claimed McDonald’s attempted to push him to purchase stores in poorer neighborhoods. He also presented information that black owners of McDonald’s locations average approximately $700,000 less in annual sales per store than their white counterparts.
This lawsuit came after more than 50 black former franchise owners collectively sued the company September 2020, saying black owners were pushed toward buying stores in poor areas with high security and insurance costs, and that they were frequently denied rent assistance and other benefits that white owners were given.
McDonald’s did not admit to any fault as part of the settlement. It did, however, announce it would spend $250 million over the next five years to improve recruitment and support of owners of color.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of discrimination by your employer, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to learn more about your legal options.