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Area McDonald’s franchise owner settles sexual harassment claims


The franchise owner of three area McDonald’s restaurants has agreed to settle a sexual harassment case.

Under the agreement, Credle Enterprises LLC will pay $240,000 to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to be split between eight women. Credle will pay another $100,000 and provide to the EEOC a list of all female employees who worked for the company from May 2017 through December 2018.

Credle will remain under court supervision for four years. The company will provide mandatory sexual harassment training to all employees and Credle promises to take action to prevent a hostile work environment.

The manager of the Muleshoe McDonald’s who was the center of the allegations has been fired.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, several women who worked for the company were subjected to sexually inappropriate behavior during their employment. The EEOC alleges that this harassment included both physical touching of female workers, sexual jokes made by the manager, and the display of pornographic images. The EEOC claims that although Credle Enterprises management was aware of the harassment, effective action was not taken to prevent it from continuing.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex.

"It took a great deal of courage for these women to come forward and speak out about the behavior of their manager," said EEOC Trial Attorney Meaghan Kuelbs. "Sexual harassment should never be tolerated, and it is especially abhorrent in a workplace dominated by young people who are entering the workforce for the first time."

EEOC Dallas District Office Supervisory Trial Attorney Suzanne M. Anderson added: "Sexual harassment in the drive-thru and behind the counter must be stopped. Muleshoe is a small Texas town with few places for young adults to work. EEOC cannot stand by while managers engage in unwelcome sexual comments and conduct in the workplace."

Credle Enterprises, LLC d/b/a McDonald's operates three McDonald's franchises in northwest Texas. In addition to its location in Muleshoe, Credle Enterprises, LLC operates McDonald's stores in Hereford and Littlefield.

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