News (World)

McDonald’s franchise forced to pay up after manager forced employees to deadname trans worker

A 15-year-old boy in Liverpool, England was beaten by a gang of teens outside of a McDonalds on Saturday night.
Photo: Shutterstock

A McDonald’s franchise has been found liable for harassment and discrimination against a trans woman after, among other things, a manager put up a sign telling employees to deadname her.

It was Syntia D.’s first job when she started working at the McDonald’s franchise in Segré, France (near Angers) in September 2022. While she was already in the process of transitioning, she hadn’t told her boss yet.

In January 2023, she was running late for work, so she decided to go to work wearing women’s clothes, breast padding, and makeup. She told the magistrate that she thought her coworkers would be supportive of her.

But soon after, she was forced to have a meeting about placing her in a new position at work while she was on the receiving end of transphobic comments. The manager asked her to take off her makeup and put up a sign banning her coworkers from using her chosen first name.

“They tried to send her to the Super U [a supermarket] next door to buy makeup remover to take off her lipstick,” one of her lawyers, Gwenola Vaubois, told France Bleu. Syntia refused, and shortly after, she was told not to come to work anymore. Two months later, her doctor put her on medical leave from work.

The lawyer for the McDonald’s franchise argued that there was no intention to discriminate in the manager’s actions and the statements made by Syntia’s colleagues weren’t intended to be harassment.

The tribunal found that Syntia was the “victim of discrimination based on gender identity, caused by the ban on her colleagues to use her female first name and to use feminine pronouns.” The franchise will have to pay 7000 euros (about $7500) in damages to Syntia as well as compensation for lost wages, for a total of nearly 15,000 euros (about $16,000).

“It’s a good result,” her other lawyer, Bertrand Salquain, said when leaving the tribunal, according to the French LGBTQ+ publication TETU. “Today we got a decision that is well reasoned with damages and interest that may seem disappointing compared to what we asked for, because we asked for 30,000 euros.”

But her former employer promised to appeal.

“The management of the Segré restaurant takes note of this first decision from the tribunal but continues to contest the accusations and is examining its options moving forward,” the statement said. “The fight against harassment and discrimination is taken seriously at our restaurant, just as it is in all of the brand’s establishments.”

“Managers and directors regularly receive training.”

When asked for comment, the French McDonald’s corporate communications office told TETU: “It’s the franchise that should be commenting.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Anti-LGBTQ+ extremists lost in yesterday’s primaries while AOC won

Previous article

Lesbian comic Gina Yashere explains her mother’s surprising reaction to meeting her white girlfriend

Next article