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Black franchise owner sues McDonald's for alleged race discrimination

February 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 70.1%. 1 min read.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 30: The McDonald's logo is displayed on the window of a McDonald's restaurant on January 30, 2018 in San Francisco, California. McDonald's reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings with global same-store sales growing at the fastest pace in six years. Fourth quarter net income dropped 41 percent to $698.7 million, or 87 cents per share, compared to $1.19 billion, or $1.44 per share one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Black McDonald's franchise operator has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it steered him toward less profitable restaurants in lower-income, predominantly Black neighborhoods because of his race.

New York (CNN Business)A Black McDonald's franchise operator has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it steered him toward less profitable restaurants in lower-income, predominantly Black neighborhoods because of his race.

Washington's allegations are similar to the complaints made by a group of 52 former Black franchise operators, who sued the company over alleged racial discrimination in September.

Washington, who has been operating McDonald's franchise locations since 1980, claimed in the suit that over the years, McDonald's made it harder for him to succeed compared to White franchise operators.

The lawsuit also alleges that McDonald's reduced advertising to Black communities, impacting Washington's sales, and that he was denied resources that would have helped increase them.

In a statement responding to the lawsuit, McDonald's said that Washington's business challenges were "the result of years of mismanagement" and that it has "invested significantly" in his organization and has offered him opportunities to address the problems.

McDonald's also said it launched its largest Black marketing campaign in 2019 and has been a supporter of BET for years.

In September, the group of former franchise owners accused McDonald's in a lawsuit of systematically discriminating against Black franchise operators by offering better financial support and more favorable locations to their White counterparts.

"We disagree with the claims in this lawsuit and we intend to strongly defend against it," he said, but noted that the company could go further on increasing diversity within its franchise operations.

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