January 30, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Los Angeles, CA – The fast-food company headed by Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor leads the industry in the number of racial-discrimination and sexual-harassment lawsuits filed against it.
Since Andrew Puzder became CEO of CKE Restaurants in 2000, its Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. hamburger chains have faced more such lawsuits per billion dollars in sales than any of the top nine fast-food companies. In 2005, black workers at a Carl’s Jr. in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove won a $255,000 settlement through the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after one of them, a teenage girl, was fired for complaining about a boss who had a swastika tattoo and called them “niggers.” In 2009, women workers at a Hardee’s in Livingston, Tennessee won a $75,000 settlement through the EEOC for sexual harassment. They said supervisors cut one woman’s hours in retaliation after she complained about male coworkers grabbing their buttocks and breasts. The National Labor Relations Board ruled in 2015 that fast-food corporations are responsible for their franchises’ labor practices, because they generally have at least indirect control over them. Puzder told Business Insider in March 2016 that robots might be better for some fast-food jobs because, among other things, they never file “an age, sex, or race discrimination case.” Read more