United States: Black McDonald's Franchise Owner Sues Firm Over 'Racial Discrimination'
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India, 17 Feb 2021 10:15 AM GMT
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Herb Washington said the firm blocked him from buying stores from a white franchise owner and denied him financial assistance comparable to that offered to white operators.
A former professional baseball player who was once the largest black McDonald's operator, owning about 14 franchises in the United States (US) has sued the company for 'racial discrimination'.
Herb Washington alleged that the company had denied opportunities to black owners that it gave to whites, reported BBC News.
He also accused the firm of retaliating against him after he raised concerns. However, McDonald's blamed his troubles on 'mismanagement'.
In an official statement, the firm said it was reviewing the complaint adding that Herb was facing "business challenges that we don't want for anyone in our system."
"This situation is the result of years of mismanagement by Mr Washington, whose organisation has failed to meet many of our standards on people, operations, guest satisfaction and reinvestment," the company said.
The company had faced similar claims from black franchise owners earlier as well. Last year in a lawsuit, more than 50 former franchise owners accused the company of steering them to stores in less desirable neighbourhoods.
Herb, who had opened his first McDonald's franchise in 1980 said the firm had hindered his business repeatedly. He said the firm blocked him from buying stores from a white franchise owner and denied him financial assistance comparable to that offered to white operators.
"I always held out hope that they would live up to their promises and put an end to a two-tiered system," he said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Ohio. "I believed that McDonald's was going to do the right thing."
He also alleged that the company had targeted him for "extinction" since 2017, in retaliation for him speaking about the racial disparities. He also alleged that the company pushed him to sell certain stores in exchange for a contract extension on others.
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