Marquita Thompson, who worked at a Chicago McDonald's unit, has filed a lawsuit against franchisee DKA Enterprises LLC for circumstances surrounding her termination.
Thompson claims she complained to restaurant management on several occasions that she believed the restaurant was in violation of Illinois public health related policies because of insect and vermin infestations in the restaurant. She was subsequently terminated.
This marks the second time in less than a year that a complaint has been filed against a McDonald franchise held by an entity owned by Darrell Winbush and Katina Winbush, of Lynwood, Ill. Another complaint was filed against MRA Restaurants LLC, owned by the Winbush's, in late 2011, by former employee Melondy Paul, who alleges that she was berated and then terminated after informing restaurant management she was pregnant.
Thompson alleges she made repeated verbal complaints and reports to her superiors – including the restaurant's general manager – about unsafe and unsanitary conditions around the restaurant's food storage and preparation areas and the employee break room. She claims she was informed by management that they would "take care of it."
The defendants have admitted in their court filings that Thompson had, in fact, informed the general manager of her concerns about the situation.
On or about June 25, 2010, Thompson claims she reported to the general manager that she saw a cockroach on her own salad. She believes this angered her general manager and claims she was fired shortly thereafter.
"Ms. Thompson's complaints implicate an Illinois public policy promoting the health and safety of its citizens by ensuring that restaurants operate in a clean, safe and sanitary manner and to keep food free from disease, filth caused by insects and vermin and we believe that her termination for raising these issues was unlawful," said attorney Randall Gold, of Fox & Fox, S.C., Chicago, representing both Thompson and Paul.
Daniel J. Voelker, Voelker Litigation Group, Chicago, also represents Thompson.
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