Former Employee Sues McDonald’s, Claims She Was Harassed For Being Nicaraguan

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former employee has sued McDonald’s, alleging she was subjected to demeaning comments and given extra tasks because she is Nicaraguan.

Maria Bonilla filed her lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming national origin discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful constructive termination. She is seeking unspecified damages.

According to the complaint, Bonilla began working for the fast-food chain in April 2008 at an unidentified location.

Bonilla was told by a manager that Nicaraguans are “lazy” and “nasty” throughout her employment, according to the complaint. The supervisor also told Bonilla that Nicaraguan women are “slutty” and “always go after married men,” according to the court papers, which also said he called her a “pig” and a “slut.”

The complaint also alleges the manager and a second boss ordered Bonilla to lift heavy boxes and required her to work on the grill “for so long that she felt as though she would pass out from the heat.” The suit also claims she was required to work in the freezer for extended periods.

Bonilla claims when she complained, the supervisors cut her hours and told her she was lazy.

Bonilla says she fainted from the stress of her alleged mistreatment at McDonald’s in May 209 and was immediately fired.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Wenyuan

    The lady deserved it. She should’ve filed charged for the first attempt. But she was or might be too afraid to do so. The CCTV for Mc Donald’s doesn’t stay on file for over a year. :(

    Edit: She was fired May 2009.

  • Katherine Dilao

    I actually witnessed a Hispanic employee of McDonalds in my hometown faint after I handed her the money for my food. She passed out and fell. i had to call 911 because they weren’t going to. I stayed until the paramedics got there, and then went on to my job. I never saw that employee at that location again. I think if I had not called 911 they might have just waited until she came to, and put her back to work.

  • surfbum

    I wonder if after she fainted they docked her pay for napping on the job.

  • Just a Thought

    Geez, imagine how they would have treated her if they thougt she was Salvadorean? Poor woman…

  • Mesriani Law

    Unfortunately, employment discrimination whether against national origin, race, age, disability, or gender will continue to exist if the employers themselves fail to promptly and adequately address such complaints in the workplace. If this woman’s allegations are indeed true, then McDonald’s will be liable for damages because of the actions of its employees.

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