McDonald’s Will Compensate Black Franchise Owner $33.5M Over Bias Suit

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McDonald’s is set to pay $33.5 million to a former baseball player (who has numerous franchises) to end a lawsuit he initiated with the company due to racial discrimination, Associated Press reported.

Herb Washington, a Black owner of over a dozen restaurants — in Ohio and Pennsylvania at the time of his February lawsuit — said the fast-food company treated its white owners better and denied Washington of the opportunity to buy restaurants in more prosperous communities, according to the article.

McDonald’s said in a statement recently that what the company will be paying Washington was “no more than what we deem a fair price for the value of the restaurants,” reported in the article.

“While we were confident in the strength of our case, this resolution aligns with McDonald’s values and enables us to continue focusing on our commitments to the communities that we serve,” the company said, adding that “discrimination has no place at McDonald’s.”

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Youngstown said McDonald’s wanted to lead Washington to stores in disadvantaged neighborhoods and that “Black owners average around $700,000 less in annual sales per store than white owners,” per the article.

Recently, McDonald’s announced it would shell out $250 million over the next several years to recruit, train and boost franchise owners from minority communities, the news outlet added.

In September 2020, over 50 Black former franchise owners sued McDonald’s with allegations similar in nature. That suit noted that the Black owners were given the option to purchase stores in poor areas with increased security and insurance costs and were not able to obtain the basics such as rent assistance during renovations that their white counterparts were given, per the article.

Washington is a Flint native and a former Michigan State University track star who played with the Oakland Athletics in the1970s.

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