Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC
Your Solution Starts With A Phone Call

Fighting sexual harassment in the franchise industry

Workplace sexual harassment is a serious issue in any type of business. However, in the past few years, a troubling trend of sexual harassment incidents have occurred in some of the country's more easily identifiable franchises. New York franchise employees and employers should pay close attention to this growing threat.

Recently, a former Hardee's employee filed a sexual harassment case against a manager who allegedly made unwanted sexual advances. There have been other instances of big name franchisees embroiled in sexual harassment cases. In 2010, a $2.5 million settlement was paid by a Burger King franchisee to 89 female workers. The employees claimed they were subjected to lewd comments, genitalia exposure and unnecessary strip searches, among other abuses. Subway and Sonic Drive-In franchisees also took the settlement route after harassment complaints against their managers.

To eliminate the threat of harassment, both franchisees and franchisors should employ three steps to protect their workers and their national brand as well. First, educate managers and employees. Proper education can lead to an understanding between superiors and employees on what type of workplace behavior is seen as demeaning and intolerable.

Second, establish an anti-sexual harassment policy. Franchisors and franchisees should lay the ground work in reporting and dealing with harassment. Finally, create a disciplinary process. Do not develop a policy after an incident. A policy should be created before hand and its provisions-violations and other conditions-should be effectively relayed to everyone in the franchise.

If a White Plains franchise fails to protect an employee, the victim of harassment can choose to file a legal action. This course of action not only seeks justice for the disregard of an employee's labor and civil rights, but it can sometimes lead to compensation for damages. The monetary award can help victims deal with lost wages, emotional trauma and other negative effects of the harassments.

Source:, "Franchising Industry Wrestles With Sexual Harassment," Ken Gaebler, Feb. 26, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Ready To Resolve Your Legal Issues

You have a business to run. The team at Mitchell Pollack & Associates is ready to tackle your legal needs so you can focus on your responsibilities. Call 866-400-7388 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Tarrytown Office
150 White Plains Road
Suite 310
Tarrytown, NY 10591

Toll Free: 866-400-7388
Phone: 914-610-3418
Fax: 914-332-9191
Map & Directions

Mahwah Office
220 Franklin Turnpike
Mahwah, NJ 07430

Toll Free: 866-400-7388
Phone: 914-610-3418
Fax: 201-529-4400
Map & Directions