A McDonalds in Florida hired Barry to work the grill and fryer. He was 59 years old. His direct manager repeatedly and profanely harassed him regarding his age. That manager had been with McDonald’s for almost 15 years.
The manager sent him home from shifts. She told him he couldn’t take meal breaks. She threatened his job. Some of her greatest hits:
“Oh my God, they assigned me a retarded slow ass motherfucker.”
“Too old to do this job”
“I can’t believe this old motherfucker was assigned to my shift.”
Barry reported all of this to management (including the assistant general manager, general manager, and regional manager), many of whom witnessed the harassment firsthand.
Then his manager made a video of Barry with her mocking him and posted it on TikTok. An actual line from the video:
“They just be putting anybody on my overnights . . . Let me show you what this slow ass motherfucker done did.” The video pans down to a drink Barry prepared for a to-go order. The manager continues: “I said put me a large fruit punch in a large Uber bag. This is what he did y’all. He put it in a bag. We going viral, we going viral.” The camera pans back up to Barry, who is sweeping the kitchen. He’s got his head down and is obviously humiliated. The manager states “He don’t wanna be on camera but he is.”
She tagged the TikTok video of Barry with the hastags “McRetarded” and “McDummies.”
At one point, she even told him to go home and not come back — or else he would see what happened to him. So he quit. Let me be clear: This is age discrimination. The firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Barry against McDonald’s in Florida federal court. The complaint can be read here.
This type of ugly age discrimination happens every day in workplaces throughout America. But because companies like McDonald’s are so big and have so much money, their strategy is DENY and DELAY.
A manager knew? An assistant general manager? A general manager? A regional manager? Companies act like unless the CEO and the head of HR personally knew about a situation then (a) the company had no knowledge and no liability and (b) the situation basically never happened.
That’s nonsense, of course. But if you are an employee and you want to guard against the typical corporate denial of “We never knew! We had no idea!” — Then put it in writing and send it to the powers that be. And definitely the head of HR.
If you are being discriminated against at work, then speak up. You have a legal right to say, “I am being discriminated against because of X.” If it’s age discrimination, then say “I am being discriminated against because of my age.” Put it in writing. If a company fires you or retaliates against you for complaining about discrimination, that retaliation itself is also illegal.
Our firm is filing 100 of these cases. Age discrimination, race discrimination, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, defamation by a former employer, equal pay violations, retaliation, and more.
About Jonathan Pollard and Pollard PLLC
Pollard PLLC is a law firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the past decade, the firm has litigated hundreds of cases on behalf of employees. Pollard PLLC focuses on discrimination, equal pay, sexual harassment, and retaliation cases. The Firm’s founding attorney Jonathan Pollard has appeared in or on the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS News Hour, CNBC, Inc. Magazine, The New York Post, and more. He has more than 75,000 followers on LinkedIn where he frequently posts his commentary on litigation, business, and life. The firm can be reached at 954-751-3785.