A former Saratoga McDonald’s employee has filed a discrimination complaint against McDonald’s Friday alleging sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
Kenya Chapas, 27, has been accused of inappropriate touching, making lewd comments and being stalked while working at a fast food restaurant at 18578 Prospect Road.
“After participating in the sexual harassment investigation, McDonald’s retaliated against me by reducing my hours and then firing me,” Chapas said in the draft complaint, seen by The Mercury News.
Chapas alleges that the sexual assault began in January when a male colleague offered to buy her and her children gifts, money and something nice for Valentine’s Day. He allegedly touched her arms and asked to see her hands while she worked.
“Polite at first, I soon told him to stop spending money on me or my kids. Still, he insisted and I started to feel very uncomfortable,” Chapas said in the draft complaint.
When she asked a colleague to borrow some money, she learned that her alleged molester told her friend that he would give Chapa’s money if she went to a hotel with him. He also followed her into the woman’s bathroom, and Chapas said he felt he was following her.
In February, she reported the behavior to her shift manager, and a few days later, local branch management and the human resources manager visited her in the restaurant lobby to get their perspective on the story.
After reporting the harassment, Chapas said her hours were reduced by at least one hour a day, and when she asked for more hours, her request was denied.
Three weeks later, she was suspended from work for a week after allegedly taking too much time for a 10-minute break. He was fired after returning to work, and management cited lengthy breaks as the reason for his layoff.
About 30 members of Fight for 15, a global labor movement representing low-wage workers, held a rally in support of Chapas Thursday afternoon. The group marched through the store holding signs that read “Stop Sexual Harassment.”
This isn’t the first complaint about this place. Earlier this year, two employees filed complaints with the San Jose Labor Commission that they had not been granted sick leave. One collaborator was a breast cancer survivor who had been diagnosed with liver cancer.
The news comes as fast food workers across the state are speaking out in support of the Fast Recovery Act, or AB 257, against sexual harassment and other systemic issues in the industry.
The measure would create a statewide council for the fast food sector, which would include workers and representatives from government and industry to set minimum standards for health, safety and employment throughout California.
It aims to give workers and franchisees a seat at the table to help shape industry-wide workplace standards and hold corporate franchisors accountable.
The measure is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Aug. 11 before going to a full Senate vote later this month.