McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. are launching a new series of employee training sessions to support safe and respectful workplaces, the Chicago-based chain announced Wednesday.
The training programs, which start in October, will educate 850,000 employees on the following topics: Mitigating Workplace Violence, Safe and Respectful Workplace, Unconscious Bias, Anti-Bullying and Bystander. The latter involves reviewing “different bystander scenarios, power dynamics, and mitigation tactics,” McDonald’s said.
The move expands on other policies McDonald’s has enacted to protect workers from harassment. In the spring, the brand added a hotline for employees to call and report claims.
The expanded training measures come as the chain has been hit by several lawsuits from workers making sexual harassment claims against the company.
“There is a deeply important conversation around safe and respectful workplaces in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world,” Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a statement. “Together with our franchisees, we have a responsibility to take action on this issue and are committed to promoting positive change. These actions are one more step we are taking to raise awareness at all levels of McDonald’s that will transfer both inside and outside the workplace.”
Dorothy Stingley, a representative for the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, said franchisees are developing “comprehensive programs centered on building healthy relationships, trusting environments and resolving conflict to support our people in all facets of their lives – at work, at home and out in their communities.”
Restaurant supervisors and hourly employees will be trained through a combination of interactive and computer-based programs. In-person discussions will cover topics such as how to diffuse situations that could lead to violence, retaliation prevention, how to report a sexual harassment complaint and how to recognize negative and positive stereotypes that exist in our subconscious.
McDonald’s said it would collect feedback from the October sessions and use the information to enhance future training planned for 2020.
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