McDonald’s Corp. is being sued by two African-American executives alleging racial discrimination and civil rights abuses.
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The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Illinois.
Vicki Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal are seeking a monetary settlement following demotions that they say were the result of discrimination and an allegedly hostile climate for black executives and franchisees, according to a legal filing.
McDonald's new chief executive, Chris Kempczinski, has been working to address concerns about the chain's workplace culture.
Former CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired in November after disclosing a consensual relationship with an unnamed McDonald’s employee.
The suit alleges that over the years McDonald's engaged in systematic but covert racial discrimination impeding the career progress of its African American employees, according the legal filing.
A McDonald’s spokesman said 45 percent of the company’s corporate officers are people of color, along with all of its 10 U.S. field vice presidents, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“While we disagree with characterizations in the complaint, we are currently reviewing it and will respond to the complaint accordingly,” he said.
The suit names Kempczinski, Easterbrook and a U.S. regional president, Charlie Strong, in its allegations.
Those mentioned didn’t immediately respond to the Journal for comment.