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Fast food workers say sexual harassment at work is increasing

Workers hold rally outside Barrio Logan McDonald's
Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 20:52:26-04

SAN DIEGO - Many of San Diego's fast food workers are saying sexual harassment comes with the job.

A new study by Hart Research Associates seemingly backs up their claim. It found that 40 percent of women surveyed nationwide reported some form of sexual harassment while at work.

Maribell Sosa, who works at a local fast food restaurant, said working in fast food is a challenge, and it's even harder when her boss yells at her.

"One time, she did it to me and I said, 'That's disrespectful,'" Sosa said. "You want to talk to me, say something about the job, you got to call me in the office. We talk. No screaming all over the place."

But Sosa said some of her colleagues have it a whole lot worse.

"I just heard that one supervisor grabbed this lady from her waist when she was doing [the] dishes, and that's not right," she said.

That's why Sosa joined other fast food workers and their supporters Thursday at a rally outside a McDonald's in Barrio Logan. They wanted to bring awareness to sexual harassment at fast food restaurants.

In a statement, McDonald's said that it doesn't tolerate any harassment at its restaurants.

"At McDonald's, we and our independent owner-operators share a deep commitment to the respectful treatment of everyone. There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in McDonald’s restaurants or in any workplace. We take any concerns seriously and are reviewing the allegations," the statement said.

Fast food worker Jorge Moreno said the problems go beyond sexual harassment.

"I have been degraded at work, I've been treated as lesser than a human a couple of times," he said.

Sosa said Thursday's rally was about standing up for what's right, especially for those who are too afraid to speak out.

"The workers don't say anything because they're scared of losing their job," she said.