A woman is suing McDonald’s USA because she claims she was forced into a life of prostitution after she was wrongfully terminated by a franchise manager.
Whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. What’s the story behind this one?
In 1982, Shelley Lynn worked the counter at a McDonald’s in Arroyo Grande, CA. In 1985, she started dating franchise manager Keith Handley, whose company Ivernia owns or owned McDonald’s franchises.
Shortly after they became “an item,” she claims Handley had her terminated for no apparent reason.
“At the time Handley began dating Lynn…Handley ordered Mr. McGrady, one of his managers, to terminate Lynn for insubordination which was sham,” according to a Federal Court complaint.
But why did he have her fired? Apparently, he wanted her to become a legal prostitute in the neighboring state of Nevada, according to Lynn.
Lynn claims she was “economically and psychologically” coerced into prostitution by Handley, according to a recent Courthouse News Service report.
“Handley…began pressuring Lynn on an almost daily basis, arguing with her every day that she needed to become a prostitute in a legal brothel, it was no big deal to engage in sex to make money, that she would lose her home and everything she had, which was true,” the complaint claims.
In December 1986, Handley won out and Lynn began working at the Chicken Ranch in Pahrump, NV, where she claims she became a “top booker.” The couple were married in March 1988, but later divorced.
So here we are, 30 years after she first started working in fast food, and Lynn is suing her ex-husband and McDonald’s because she says the company lacked an “adequate grievance policy” for false firings, writes Newser‘s Phil Villarreal.
According to Lynn, McDonald’s “failed to conduct a due diligence into the moral character of Handley when it sold franchises to him.”
[McDonald's] failed to properly supervise and train Handley, as a direct result of which Handley used his position as an employer and conspired with his corporation Ivernia to coerce and bribe two of Ivernia‘s employees to make false statements against Lynn during Handley’s dissolution and to suppress relevant evidence he had disclosed about himself.
“Handley also engaged in pimping operations out of the McDonald’s franchises he owned,” the complaint adds.
Lynn’s lawsuit seek “lost wages, special damages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for sex trafficking, negligent retention and supervision of franchisees, and racketeering,” among other claims.