All That Glitters is Not Gold: McDonald’s Franchise Owner Settles EEOC Claims for $2M and a Reminder to Train Employees

By Emelia Nguyen
Director of Education

The Golden Arches – well known for their savory BigMacs, fountain sodas, and crispy french fries – made headlines earlier this year for something a little less savory. In January of 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled a lawsuit with an owner  of eighteen McDonald’s franchises across three states to the tune of nearly $2 million. The lawsuit claimed that the owner knew of sexual harassment and still allowed it to continue unabated. This conduct included unwanted touching, offensive comments, intimidation, and unwelcome sexual advances by supervisors, managers, and coworkers. Conditions were so intolerable that workers had no choice but to quit. Read more about this settlement on the EEOC website here.  

As seen in the remedies prescribed by the EEOC in this lawsuit, training and education are key pieces in the effort to keep sexual harassment out of the workplace. While training is highly encouraged at the federal level, some states require that training have specific elements for both employees and their supervisors and managers.


States that require Sexual Harassment Prevention Training:

[California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington]

What If My State is Not on this List?

Unfortunately, this does not mean you are in the clear. Training is still encouraged by the EEOC because the lack of training can be seen as a huge liability. According to the EEOC, 

“…refraining from taking certain actions recommended here [such as training managerial and non-managerial employees] as promising practices may increase an employer’s liability risk in certain circumstances.” Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Nov. 21, 2017.; accessed on Nov. 5, 2023.

In order to avoid liability and decrease the risk of sexual harassment in the workplace, the EEOC recommends that employers implement four best practices:

    1. Leadership and Accountability;
    2. Create a Comprehensive and Effective Harassment Policy;
    3. Implement an Effective and Accessible Harassment Complaint System; and
    4. Provide Effective Harassment Training

For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the fourth point: effective harassment training.

Provide Effective Harassment Training

Policies and systems are only effective if the employees know that they exist. Leaders must emphasize the importance of these training sessions and find resources that are tailored to their specific work environment and employees. We have all sat through training that we knew was not made for us and did not feel realistic or applicable. Training sessions created without the learner and context in mind can cause more harm than good as students tend to “zone out” if they find the course material to be either boring or not applicable.

Specific requirements for particular states can range from length to content and everything in between. Take a look at the infographic for a quick overview of some of the state requirements in regard to Sexual Harassment Prevention training. 

How to fulfill your legal requirements and reduce liability:

  1. Utilize training that is created specifically for your environment and learner type.
  2. Find a training that caters to multiple learning styles and preferences: reading, video reenactments, audio, etc.
  3. Create a sexual harassment prevention policy
  4. Make employees aware of your policies and the resources that are available to them within your organization.

When it comes to creating lasting change, training is only a piece of the larger puzzle. In order to truly create an environment where everyone feels safe, leadership must consider how they are responding to complaints as they occur and the type of work environment they are promoting, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally . What kinds of jokes does your organization tolerate? What is considered OK to post in public spaces? What behaviors are you encouraging or choosing to ignore? Together, we can create environments where everyone feels safe and are free to do their best work.

Current ComplyAuto clients can access our Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainings, through the Workforce Dashboard.

If you would like to learn more about ComplyAuto and its suite of HR compliance trainings, please contact us at or visit our website at

Are you or someone you know experiencing Sexual Harassment? Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE (4673) or; it’s free, confidential, and available 24/7.



Leave a Reply

Deadline Approaching: Complete Your Inaugural FTC Safeguards Board Report by Year’s End!
New High-Risk Cybersecurity Threat and Proactive Measures to Ensure Safety

We want to enroll our employees in preventative training to prevent BAR citations and fines.

We received a citation or disciplinary action and need to take remedial training.

Mock OSHA Assessment


  • On-demand eight-hour assessment that imitates a real OSHA audit.
  • Conducted by an EHS Pro with OSHA-10 or OSHA-30 certification and 5+ years of experience. 
  • Simulated employee interviews
  • Issue tracking and task management
  • Detailed assessment reports after the assessment with images, videos, and recommended steps for remediation.

    Privacy & Cyber Compliance Suite


    • Custom legal policies with real-time updates, including the Information Security Program (ISP)
    • Customized Incident Response Plan (IRP)
    • Internal risk assessment tools and hands-on guidance
    • Biannual penetration testing (2) 
    • Biannual vulnerability scans (2)
    • Employee security awareness training and completion tracking
    • Extensive vendor management library – hundreds of vendor-completed GLBA contracts & risk assessments
    • Device & systems inventory automation and mapping tools
    • Unlimited industry-specific internal phishing simulations to train staff
    • Complete 50-state privacy compliance required by your state (CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, IN, MT, OR, TN, TX, UT, VA)
    • Website cookie consent banners and unique consumer privacy request portals
    • Annual report to the Board of Directors generated every year
    • Compliance Guarantee

      CPR/AED Certification


      • Instruction provided by Certified American Red Cross Instructors.
      • Practical, hands-on training sessions to practice CPR and AED techniques
      • Proper automated external defibrillator (AEDs) instruction and operation
      • American Red Cross exam and certification
      • Access to study materials, manuals, and resources for continued education and reference.
      • Available for organizations and groups, allowing for tailored training sessions.

      HR Fundamentals


      • Customized policy builder with real-time updates
      • E-sign functionality for required employee policies 
      • Online HR training with employee completion tracking
      • State-specific policies and training
      • Employee management tool
      • Training and policies include Workplace Violence, Active Shooter, IT and Electronic Device Use, Biometric Data Privacy, Sexual Harassment, and more 
      • HR Fundamentals access is included with any other ComplyAuto product

        Encrypted Messaging


        • Encrypt SMS text and email messaging among staff, clients, and customers when sending and receiving files
        • Track usage and detect violations in real-time
        • Advanced security features include auto-deletion of files, Multi-Factor Authentication protection, IP safelisting, and domain blocklisting
        • Supports compliance with various state and federal regulations and recognized industry standards: GLBA, HIPAA, SOC 2, ISO 27001, NIST, CIS Controls, SEC

          Safety Compliance Suite


          • Concierge on-site onboarding 
          • On-demand safety walkthroughs conducted by experienced EHS Pros at various intervals – once, twice, or four times per year
          • Comprehensive Online Training Library and employee progress tracking
          • Automated 50-State Legal Injury & Illness Reporting
          • Policy Builders with Automatic Updates
          • Simplified SDS Creation and Management
          • Guided risk mitigation
          • Signage builder & tracking
          • Efficient equipment inspections with QR Codes
          • Tier 1 Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan 
          • Automated Tier 2 environmental reporting for all 50 states 
          • Unlimited one-on-one support from our dedicated team
          • Workplace Violence and Active Shooter Policy and Training
          • Unlimited one-on-one support from our dedicated team
          • Automated Tier II environmental reporting for all 50 states.

            EduTech Course 3

            Program to Fulfill AG Disciplinary Order - $299/student

            The California AG routinely penalizes facilities that violate these laws and requires them to perform specific remedies while on probation. One of these remedies requires the ARD to take a course that outlines the laws and regulations of the Automotive Repair Act. This program fulfills the requirement.


            • Comprehensive online course about the Automotive Repair Act

            • Access to training materials anytime (24/7/365)

            • Comprehensive companion manual to the training material

            • Quizzes and final exam to track engagement and learning ability

            • Certificate generated upon completion

            EduTech Course 2

            Remedial Training and Attorney General Disciplinary Order - $299/student

            The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has allowed violating automotive repair dealers to take a remedial training program in lieu of having their information posted on a public website. Additionally, automotive repair dealers are required to take a training course as part of the California Attorney General’s disciplinary order. 

            This course fulfills both of these requirements.

            Created by California attorneys with over 35 years of combined experience in the automotive repair industry, this course is the only course on the market that is taught by instructors who are certified by the BAR.


            • Comprehensive online course about the Automotive Repair Act
            • Instruction by providers certified by the BAR
            • Access to training materials anytime (24/7/365)
            • Comprehensive manual that is a companion to the course
            • Quizzes and final exam to track student engagement and information retention
            • Certificate generated upon completion
            • Automated notification to the Bureau of Automotive Repair, if applicable


            EduTech Course 1

            Automotive Repair Act Certification Training - $49/month per rooftop

            With new regulations giving the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) more authority to find violations and enforce citations upon repair facilities, it is now more important than ever to make sure your staff is knowledgeable about the Automotive Repair Act. Protect your repair facility from BAR scrutiny by enrolling into EduTech’s Automotive Repair Act Certification Training. This is the only training in California that is approved by BAR. 

            “Evidence of voluntary participation in retraining [of]…employees” as a mitigating factor. – Guidelines for Disciplinary Orders and Terms of Probation, BAR

            BAR has allowed retraining to be a “factor in mitigation” when investigating a repair facility. Therefore, as a preventative measure, it is strongly recommended that all technicians and service writers enroll into this course to show the BAR that you acknowledge and understand these rules before any investigation ever occurs. 

            All students enrolled in this product will be eligible for our “EduTech Guarantee” which financially protects repair facilities from enforcement by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. For more information, please visit our Terms of Service.


            • Online training course about the Automotive Repair Act
            • Only training course that is approved by BAR
            • Access to training materials anytime (24/7/365)
            • Quizzes and final exam to track student engagement and information retention
            • Certificate generated upon completion


            • Lower risk of BAR scrutiny by standardizing correct practices
            • Increased customer satisfaction
            • Establishes good faith efforts and may avoid BAR citation and fine
            • Professional development for service writers and technicians
            • Eligibility for the EduTech Guarantee

            Students enrolled in this product will also have complimentary access to HR training materials and policy builders. Topics include:

            • Sexual harassment (supervisory and non-supervisory)
            • Active shooter
            • Workplace violence
            • Social media use
            • Biometric data (timekeeper or key lockbox)

            F&I Compliance Suite

              • Precise Deal Jacket Audits to identify and address real-world F&I compliance issues accurately.
              • Focused Compliance on specific F&I compliance concerns such as Fair Lending Compliance Solutions, California Litigation, Vehicle Safety Recalls, Used Vehicle History, FTC Buyers Guide & Federal Warranty Disclosures, 
              • Automated EZ Cash Reporting & Anti-Money Laundering with IRS Reporting 
              • Spot Delivery & Unwind Management
              • Real-Time Issue Identification Quickly detect compliance gaps and issues, enabling swift corrective action and risk mitigation.
              • Online F&I Compliance Training 
              • Compliance Guarantee

                Device & Email Security


                The combined features create a dynamic defense system that adapts to evolving cybersecurity threats and secures the organization's digital ecosystem.

                • Continuous threat detection and response powered by Coro:
                  • EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) 
                  • MDR (Managed Detection and Response) 
                  • 24/7 Security Operations Center team
                  • Swift response and alert to potential security breaches
                • Enhanced authentication and access control via Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) powered by Duo Security™
                • Advanced email security to shield e-threats such as phishing, malware, spam, and scams – integrates with Google Workspace & Microsoft Office 365.
                • Data governance and Data Loss Prevention (DLP)  detect and manage employee data-sharing practices. 
                • Device-level encryption for Windows and macOS
                • Public & unencrypted wifi blocking
                • Next-gen antivirus
                • Automated password policy and session locking enforcement