McDonald’s is to investigate allegations that an employee in Ireland was subjected to taunts at work after she was raped at a house party.
Ciara Mangan waived her right to anonymity and spoke publicly this week after a former co-worker was convicted of raping her 10 years ago.
She said was taunted at work with “rape songs” and “rape comments” after the attack.
In a statement, the fast food company’s UK and Ireland chief executive Alistair Macrow said: “I commend Ciara’s bravery in speaking about her horrific experience.
“I am deeply appalled by these new allegations and commit to investigating them to our fullest extent through our investigation-handling unit.”
Earlier this week, Mr Macrow appointed a new unit to crack down on sexual harassment and bullying after admitting the business has “fallen short” following a report by the BBC on several allegations of harassment at the company.
He said the investigation-handling unit will be able to refer cases to specialist investigators.
It comes after more than 100 past and present workers said they were sexually harassed or assaulted or subjected to racism or bullying at the chain.
“The allegations I have heard this week are personally and professionally shocking.”
“I would like to reiterate my unreserved apology to, and empathy with, all those affected in any way, and I commend their bravery in coming forward.
“We have clearly fallen short in some critical areas, and I am determined to root out any behaviour or conduct that falls below the high standards of respect, safety and inclusion we demand of everyone at McDonald’s, as detailed in our global brand standards.”
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) July 21, 2023
Mr Macrow said the unit, run by HR and legal professionals, will be in place until at least the end of the year.
He said: “Any substantiated breaches of our code of conduct will be met with the most severe measures up to and including dismissal.”
He also promised to appoint external experts who can evaluate what happens when a member of staff complains about a colleague.
The BBC report included allegations that complaints had not been escalated properly.
The outside experts will assess whether McDonald’s escalation policy is effective and accessible and how much employees understand it.
“I will make sure that everyone is in no doubt of my own unequivocal insistence on zero tolerance of harassment of any kind and to ensure our non-negotiable message of respect and inclusivity is heard clearly throughout our business,” Mr Macrow added.
The BBC reported a McDonald’s worker in his late 30s asked to show a 17-year-old colleague his penis after calling her a racial slur.
Another 17-year-old girl said a senior McDonald’s manager grabbed her bottom and choked her.
In February, McDonald’s signed an agreement with the equality watchdog to improve how it handles sexual harassment allegations.
In 2019, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union said it had spoken to 1,000 women who reported being subjected to sexual harassment and abuse while working at the chain.
By Cillian Sherlock, PA
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website Beat102103.com.