Cases & Deals

McDonald’s wins summary judgment in Title VII class action matter

Clients McDonald's Corporation

Jones Day won summary judgment for McDonald’s in a class action against McDonald’s Corporation, McDonald’s USA, and franchisee defendants alleging systemic sexual harassment under Title VII and the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act on behalf of a class of over 100 women employees at franchisee’s restaurant based on joint employer, agency and apparent agency theories of liability. This lawsuit was the first joint employer class action to be filed against McDonald’s arising from the series of EEOC charges filed against McDonald’s and McDonald’s franchisees by the Fight For $15, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. In addition to holding that McDonald’s was not a joint employer, in an issue of first impression in the Sixth Circuit, the Court adopted McDonald’s threshold argument that apparent agency could not bring McDonald’s within the definition of an “Employer” for the purposes of Title VII or the ELCRA.

Ries, et al. v. MLMLM Inc., McDonald’s USA, and McDonald’s Corp., Case No: 1:20-cv-00002-JTN-RSK (W.D. Mi)