McDonald’s Settles Lawsuits Alleging the Corporation gives Preferential Treatment to White Franchisees (Chicago, IL) — The McDonald’s Corporation on Friday agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by brothers James and Darrell Byrd. The lawsuit, originally filed on October 29, 2020, alleged wide, systemic racism in the corporation.
This lawsuit against McDonald’s came several months after another lawsuit was filed against the corporation by two African-American McDonald’s executives. This case, Victoria Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal vs McDonald’s Et Al, was brought forth under alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1870 (42 U.S.C. §1981) and cited pervasive systemic racism within the corporate ranks of the company, including, but not limited to, the use of racial slurs by other executives, being passed over for promotions, and demotions. The litigation is still ongoing.
Another lawsuit similar to the Byrd brother’s lawsuit was also filed last year by retired Major League Baseball player Herbert Washington. Washington, the operator of 14 McDonald’s franchises, alleges in his lawsuit that McDonald’s “steers” Black operators into poorer communities, equaling less revenue than other stores. The suit also accuses McDonald’s of forcing the sale of black-owned stores to whites after providing what he called “unfair” assessments.
In the agreement with the Byrd brothers, the lawsuit was dismissed and McDonald’s agreed to pay the brothers $6.5 million for the purchase of their four remaining franchise locations in Tennessee.
The agreement with the Byrd brothers days after the company made a commitment to grow their minority and female franchisee base. McDonald’s also said they would provide $250 million to help finance loans for underrepresented minority groups over the next 5 years.
In a statement, United in Peace President and Chicago-area activist Wallace “Gator” Bradley said, “This is a win for the undermined and underappreciated Black franchisees here in the US. Large corporations can no longer treat us unfairly without push-back. I am proud to be a part of that change. To God be the Glory.” Bradley has staged several nationwide “Don’t be McFooled” protests against the McDonald’s Corporation since the accusations of systemic racism and steering have come forth.
McDonald’s Settles Lawsuits Alleging the Corporation gives Preferential Treatment to White Franchisees