|From Golden Arches to Golden Handcuffs|
|Wednesday, April 04 2012|
A California woman is suing McDonald's claiming the fast food giant is responsible for her being forced into prostitution.
Shelley Lynn has filed a lawsuit in California Central District Court alleging that McDonald's should have done more to protect her from her "predatory" ex-husband and former boss, Keith Handley, who runs a McDonald's franchise and is a named defendant in the lawsuit as well. Among other things, Lynn accuses Handley of forcing her termination from McDonald's to make her more vulnerable to his demands.
According to news reports, after Lynn lost her job at McDonald's her relationship and life started to crumble. She decided to follow her dream of working as a Las Vegas dancer and Handley offered to help by buying her a home. Lynn then claims Handley forced her to get a job as a prostitute in one of the legal brothels to pay for the home.
"Handley then began pressuring Lynn on an almost daily basis, arguing... it was no big deal to engage in sex to make money, that she would lose her home and everything she had, which was true," the complaint said. Lynn added that she took a job at the local Chicken Ranch as a call girl where she was required to sleep with up to 12 men a night.
Lynn charges that Handley should not have been allowed to open his own franchise and that McDonald's failed to conduct due diligence before granting it to him and then failed to supervise him as a franchise owner, claiming Handley conducted inappropriate activities out of the restaurant. Lynn further charges that McDonald's provided no protection for female employees against predatory bosses. "McDonald's had no policy in place whereby Lynn could have filed a grievance against Handley, Ivernia [the franchise], and McDonald's," court documents said.
Lynn seeks lost wages, special damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages for sex trafficking, negligent retention and supervision of franchisees and racketeering. She also complains about McDonald's allegedly low wages and inferior health care plan.