Monday 10 August 2020 3:51 pm

McDonald's sues former chief Easterbrook over alleged sexual conduct with staff

McDonald’s has filed a lawsuit against its former chief executive Steve Easterbrook, after accusing him of having several sexual relationships with colleagues.

The fast food chain is suing Easterbrook to to recover his exit package, worth tens of millions of dollars, after an internal investigation found that he had sexual relationships with multiple employees.

Easterbrook was dismissed in November over accusations of a non-physical, consensual relationship with an employee, which the board said went against company rules.

Read more: McDonald’s boss fired for relationship with employee

McDonald’s said it reopened the matter last month after receiving an anonymous tip, and discovered Easterbrook engaged in the sexual relationships with employees in the year before his departure.

In a filing published today, McDonald’s said Easterbrook “concealed evidence and lied about his wrongdoing” and had physical sexual relationships with three McDonald’s employees in that year.

The chain also claimed that the former boss had approved an “extraordinary” stock grant, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for one of those employees while their sexual relationship was ongoing.

In its complaint in Delaware Chancery Court, McDonald’s said it had found dozens of sexually explicit photos of women, including the three employees, that Easterbrook sent to his personal email account from his company email account.

Read more: McDonald’s to cut prices following government VAT break

Easterbrook could not be reached for comment.

At the time of his firing, the company said Easterbrook was eligible for six months of severance pay — amounting to $675,000, based on his 2018 base annual salary of $1.35m.

He was also eligible for prorated payment for hitting 2019 performance targets.

“Easterbrook’s silence and lies — a clear breach of the duty of candour — were calculated to induce the company to separate him on terms much more favourable to him than those the company would have offered and agreed to had it known the full truth of his behaviour,” McDonald’s said in the filing. 

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