CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Ten former McDonald's employees allege the were subjected to racial discrimination by supervisors and were wrongfully terminated in a lawsuit against the fast-food restaurant.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The nine African-American workers and one Hispanic worker said more than a dozen black employees were fired from three restaurants owned by franchisee Michael Simon in May.
They said the employees were fired because they "didn't fit the profile" desired at the locations.
"All of a sudden, they let me go, for no other reason than I didn't 'fit the profile' they wanted at the store," said plaintiff Willie Betts, who worked at a South Boston, Va., McDonald's. "I had no idea what they meant by the right profile, until I saw everyone else that they fired, as well."
One supervisor is accused of calling black workers "ghetto" and "bitch" and a Hispanic worker was allegedly called "dirty Mexican" and "hot Mexican." Supervisors were also accused of sexual harassment.
The plaintiffs said McDonald's corporate offices didn't respond when they made complaints.
"McDonald's has a long-standing history of embracing the diversity of employees, independent franchisees, customers and suppliers, and discrimination is completely inconsistent with our values. McDonald's and our independent owner-operators share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald's restaurants," the company said in a statement in response to the allegations.