The Jury Talks Back

11/4/2019

McDonald’s CEO Fired Over Consensual Relationship With Subordinate Staffer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:46 am

[guest post by Dana]

There are always consequences to breaking the rules. McDonald’s CEO and president violated company policy, and as a result, is no longer heading the organization. In his resignation statement, Steve Easterbrook kept it simple by owning his behavior and the subsequent consequences:

Steve Easterbrook is out as McDonald’s CEO and president after the board determined that he violated company policy, the company said on Sunday.

Easterbrook, who became CEO in 2015, “demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

[…]

In an email sent to McDonald’s employees, Easterbrook expressed regret over the relationship.

“As for my departure, I engaged in a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which violated McDonald’s policy,” Easterbrook wrote. “This was a mistake. Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on. Beyond this, I hope you can respect my desire to maintain my privacy.”

He also said that his time as CEO “have been the most fulfilling years of my working life.”

His statement stands in stark contrast to Rep. Katie Hill’s final speech on the House floor, wherein she presented herself as a victim by claiming that her departure was “because of a double standard” against women, in spite of admitting her wrongdoing:

I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment[.]

Like Easterbrook, Katie Hill broke the workplace rules. Consider this from the House Ethics Committee, which is made up of five Democratic lawmakers and five Republican lawmakers:

The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday it is investigating Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) amid allegations that she had an intimate relationship with a congressional staffer in her office.

“The committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Katie Hill may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff, in violation of” House rules, the panel said in a statement. “The committee … has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”

The new House rules were adopted after a number of high-profile individuals resigned over sexual harassment claims.

Easterbrook is a grown man who knowingly made a decision that went against company policy. Hill is a grown woman who knowingly made a decision that went against House policy. There are consequences to violating the necessary rules regarding sexual relationships with subordinates. Consider too that any number of male politicians have also faced similar consequences for inappropriate sexual relationships or sexual harassment.

Ultimately, this:

It is entirely possible both to acknowledge that the photos of Hill ought not to have been published and to acknowledge that the circumstances under which the photos were taken render Hill unfit for office. Even if they had never been made public, she still should have resigned — and likely would have, had she faced anything like the degree of scrutiny for sleeping with a subordinate that conservative politicians rightly would face for doing the same thing.

Hill might be a victim, but she was also the perpetrator of an abuse of ethics, and she and her media allies should not be allowed to brush the latter under the rug.

–Dana

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