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Employee rights vital to International Women's Day

International Women's Day was honoured this year on March 8, and it drew no small number of protests pertaining to the treatment of women in the workplace. Ontario residents are well aware that employee rights, particularly those of female employees, are routinely violated both here in Canada and elsewhere around the world. This International Women's Day, a protest in Chicago shed light on the poor practices of fast food establishments in handling workplace harassment internally. 

The protest was headed by eight fast food chain employees who formerly worked for the Burger King chain. These eight women are in the process of filing sexual harassment complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after they say they were victimized while working for the burger chain. The group, which included both men and women, protested outside a Burger King location, demanding company management pay closer attention to allegations of harassment in their restaurants. 

In the case of one 24-year-old female participant in the protest, she claims her immediate manager fired her after she rebuked his sexual advances. After being told her uniform was not tight enough for his liking, the manager in question allegedly brought the employee to his office, where he placed her hand on his crotch. This type of experience was mirrored in the experiences of the other employees taking part in the suit.

Ontario residents likely agree that such conduct runs in direct opposition to employee rights, no matter whether it happens here or south of the border. This is a grim reminder that Canadian businesses also have a long way to go in their handling of workplace harassment. Those who feel they have been victimized might benefit from seeking the support of a dedicated employment lawyer who can help to handle these sorts of issues when internal management fails to do so. 

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Women protest workplace harassment in fast-food restaurants", Andrea Salcedo, March 8, 2017

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