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Black Former McDonald’s Worker Files Suit After His Requests to Avoid Shift with Co-Worker Who Used N-Word, Called Him a ‘Boy’ Were Repeatedly Denied

A Black former McDonald’s employee has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s and one of its Kansas franchises, alleging his requests to avoid shifts with a co-worker who repeatedly used the N-word were denied.

Anthony Green, a former shift manager at McDonald’s, also claims in the suit filed Aug. 19 that his boss told him his hair was “unprofessional” and that she didn’t like people outside of her race. The suit notes that the supervisor is not Black. Green’s boss also allegedly told him the only reason he wasn’t fired was because she didn’t want him to pull the “Black card,” according to a copy of the suit obtained by Atlanta Black Star.

Green was 17 when he began working as a shift manager at an Ottawa, Kansas, McDonald’s in January 2020. According to the suit, in February, Green heard a white employee, identified as Joseph, use the N-word. He subsequently reported the slur to his supervisor, identified as Cynthia, in writing, and requested not to be scheduled during the same shift as the employee.

But the suit says Green continued to be scheduled at the same time as Joseph, that McDonald’s didn’t take any action to address the racist language and that the colleague continued to refer to Green as “boy” regularly.

“Defendants unlawfully and intentionally discriminated against Plaintiff based on his race, and acted in bad faith by interfering with, recklessly disregarding, and denying his legal rights when it allowed discrimination to continue unchecked,” the suit says.

Green requested a second time that he not be scheduled at the same time as Joseph, although no changes were made.

According to the suit, Green’s supervisor “frequently criticized and demeaned [him] in ways that made him understand that he was being targeted and harassed because of his race.” 

Even when Green spoke to the owner of the location, Hugh O’Reilly, who is white, about the racist language, no action was taken, according to the suit.

“Upon information and belief, [McDonald’s] took no further action regarding disciplining [the employee] or warning him not to engage in further racially harassing behavior,” the lawsuit says.

“By failing to take prompt and effective remedial action, Defendants, in effect, condoned, ratified and/or authorized the discrimination against Plaintiff.”

Finally, the suit also alleges that Green was not correctly compensated for overtime and that his time card was altered to make it appear as though he had worked fewer hours.

“This constant racial harassment made working at McDonald’s too stressful for me (or anyone else in my position) to handle, especially because it was apparent that McDonald’s had done nothing to stop this harassment and was not interested in doing so,” Green said in a document. He eventually quit the job in May 2020, saying he had no other choice.

Green is seeking back pay, punitive damages and emotional distress damages.

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