Saratoga McDonald’s employee set to file sexual harassment, retaliation complaint – The Mercury News

A former Saratoga McDonald’s employee is filing a discrimination complaint against McDonald’s Friday, alleging sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Kenia Chapas, 27, alleged inappropriate touching, lewd comments on the job and feeling stalked while working at fast food restaurant at 18578 Prospect Road.

“After participating in a sexual harassment investigation, McDonald’s retaliated against me by reducing my hours and then terminating me,” Chapas said in the draft complaint, obtained by The Mercury News.

Chapas alleges the sexual harassment started in January when a male coworker started offering to buy gifts for her and her children, to give her money and buy her something nice for Valentine’s Day. He also allegedly touched her arms and asked to see her hands while working.

“After initially being polite, I soon told him to stop spending any money on me or my kids. Nevertheless, he persisted, and I began to feel very uncomfortable,” Chapas said in the draft complaint.

After she asked a coworker to borrow some money, she found out her alleged harasser told her friend he’d give Chapas the money if she went to a hotel with him. He also followed her to the women’s bathroom, and Chapas said she felt like he was stalking her.

She reported the behavior to her shift manager in February, and several days later local store management and the human resources manager met with her in the restaurant’s lobby to hear her side of the story.

After she reported the harassment, Chapas said her hours were cut by at least one hour per day, and when she asked for more hours, her request was denied.

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Three weeks later, she was suspended from working for one week after allegedly taking too long on a 10-minute break. She was fired after she returned to work, and management cited her taking too long on break as reason for her termination.

About 30 members of the Fight for 15, a global labor movement representing underpaid workers, held a rally Thursday afternoon to support Chapas. The group marched through the store with signs that read “Stop Sexual Harassment.”

This is not the first complaint at this location. Earlier this year, two employees filed complaints with the San Jose Labor Commission alleging they were not paid sick leave. One employee was a breast cancer survivor who had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

This news comes as fast food workers across the state are speaking out against sexual harassment and other systemic issues in the industry in support of the FAST recovery act, or AB 257.

The measure would create a statewide fast food sector council that would include workers and government and industry representatives to set minimum health, safety and employment standards across California.

It aims to give workers and franchisees a seat at the table to help shape sector-wide workplace standards to hold corporate franchisors accountable.

The measure is scheduled to be heard Aug. 11 in the Senate Appropriations Committee before heading to a full Senate vote later this month.

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