It seems to be rather expensive to be racist.
McDonald’s settled a lawsuit brought against the fast food giant by Herb Washington, a Black franchisee who had accused the company of racial discrimination. Washington, a former Major League Baseball player, was once the chain’s largest Black franchisee in the U.S, operating 14 McDonald’s restaurants at the time he filed his lawsuit in 2017.
REVOLT reports that the chain has agreed to the amount citing that “discrimination has no place at McDonald’s.” They also noted that $33.5 million was a “fair price for the value of the restaurants” after reports came out that Washington was asked to not only drop the racial discrimination lawsuit but to leave his 13 McDonald’s businesses behind.
“The court did not find that the company violated any laws,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “Discrimination has no place at McDonald’s. While we were confident in the strength of our case, this resolution aligns with McDonald’s values and enables us to continue focusing on our commitments to the communities that we serve.”
Washington had alleged the company discriminated against him by having him over low-volume restaurants in Black neighborhoods and by forcing him to downsize his store base years later after grading his locations unfairly.
“When I stood up for myself and other Black franchisees, McDonald’s began dismantling my life’s work, forcing me to sell one store after another to white operators,” Washington said in a statement at the time of the filing.
Last week, the company announced it would spend $250 million over five years to recruit and support franchise owners from minority communities.
Washington is a former Michigan State University track star who played for parts of two seasons with the Oakland Athletics in the mid-1970s.