Durham McDonald's worker claims she was sexual assaulted by male coworker

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Lois Jones says that for months she endured verbal and sexual abuse at the hands of a male coworker at a Durham McDonald's.

She said the alleged abuse started in 2018 at the McDonald's off Hillsborough Road.

In a January complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jones lays out a timeline of explicit encounters with her alleged attacker.

They include accusations such as verbal abuse and inappropriate touching.

"I was by the cooler. I had to literally wrestle with this man because he was trying to get me in the cooler," Jones stated. "He told me I could manpower you and hold you down if I want to."

Jones said the last straw was when her coworker exposed himself.

According to the complaint, after reporting the alleged abuse to her general manager, the mother of seven, making $8.50 an hour says nothing changed, except her hours were shortened, and she says the abuse continued.

And this time from her boss.

"I was stupid. I was lying," Jones said her general manager stated. "I went as far as making this lady gifts just to get her off my back."

In February, she quit. She said her alleged attacker is still employed.

"McDonald's don't care," Jones stated.

ABC11 reached out to McDonald's. The company said it does care.

McDonald's said both its company and owner-operators are working to: "create an environment where everyone feels respected and valued."

The company also says it will update its sexual harassment policies and provide new training. And starting next month, workers will be able to call a third-party hotline to file complaints.

Better wages and better policies around workplace abuse is what workers nationwide and here in Durham are fighting for.

Jones also wants her job back with better pay and her attacker fired.

"Something's got to be done. And as long as we keep our mouth closed, ain't nothing going to be done. And that's really why I believe I spoke up," Jones stated.

Jones says she put up with the abuse because her work schedule accommodated her family's schedule.

Attorneys for Jones say the civil complaint with the EEOC could take six months or more to be fully investigated.
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