McDonald's sues former CEO Easterbrook over alleged relationships with employees

Marco Green
August 10, 2020

"Easterbrook's silence and lies - a clear breach of the duty of candour - were calculated to induce the Company to separate him on terms much more favourable to him than those the Company would have offered and agreed to had it known the full truth of his behaviour", McDonald's said in the filing.

McDonald's says in a lawsuit that it has since become aware of sexual relationships between Easterbrook and three other employees prior to his termination.

Easterbrook could not be immediately reached for comment.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Easterbook denied the relationship was physical, the company said, as well as having any other relationships with employees.

Easterbrook even approved six-figures-plus worth of restricted stock for one of the employees, McDonald's said. He also retained stock options. Easterbrook told the company that there were no other similar instances.

The company cut ties with Easterbrook in November.

McDonald's (MCD) said on Monday that it had launched legal proceedings against its former British chief executive, Steve Easterbrook, alleging that he lied to the company, destroyed evidence, and concealed sexual relationships with a further three employees.

The company, which is a seeking damages, wants a court to bar Easterbrook from reaping those benefits.

The fast-food company had been under pressure over allegations of workplace sexual harassment before Easterbrook's termination, and Kempczinski emphasized the importance of staff and franchisees feeling able to blow the whistle on "any behavior that doesn't align with our values".

The lawsuit invoked Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, who said that being "ethical, truthful and dependable" was the foundation of the company.

Intimate relationships with employees are forbidden by company policy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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