McDonald’s sues ex-boss over sexual relationships

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McDonald’s sues ex-boss over sexual relationships


Steve Easterbrook, CEO McDonald, poses with Ronald McDonald during the new McDonald's Flagship Restaurant re-opening at Frankfurt International Airport, Terminal 2, on March 30, 2015 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (

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Reuters

Image caption

Mr Easterbrook the month he became head of McDonald’s in 2015

McDonald’s has taken new legal action against former chief executive Steve Easterbook, accusing him of lying about sexual relationships with staff.

The company fired Mr Easterbrook last year after finding he had a consensual relationship with an employee.

But the firm says further investigation found the British executive had three additional relationships with staff, about which he lied to the board.

McDonald’s is suing to recover his pay-off, reportedly worth $40m (£35m).

The fast food giant prohibits “any kind of intimate relationship between employees in a direct or indirect reporting relationship”.

At the time of Mr Easterbrook’s removal in November, McDonald’s said it had evidence of only of a non-physical, consensual relationship, consisting of intimate text messages and video calls.

It agreed to terminate Mr Easterbrook’s contact “without cause”, fearing a protracted legal battle, according to the firm’s legal filing.

But after receiving a tip from an employee in July, the fast food giant started a second investigation, which uncovered “undisputable evidence” of three other sexual relationships.

It says investigators found nude photographs sent from Mr Easterbrook’s company email account as well as messages showing that he approved a grant of company shares worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to one of the employees “shortly after their first sexual encounter”.

McDonald’s said that had it been aware of this information, it would not have approved his multi-million dollar pay-off.

‘Undisputable evidence’

McDonald’s said it did not

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