Women Call McDonald's Manager a Predator
CHICAGO (CN) - A McDonald's manager sexually assaulted women and wouldn't let them take bathroom breaks unless they gave him sex in the back office, four woman claim in court.
The women claim that Alfonso Rojas, manager of a McDonald's in suburban Palatine, preyed upon his employees and the franchise owners refused to make him stop it. One woman claims she peed in her pants two to avoid his advances.
Adriana Cazares, Isabel Pratts aka Alma Perez, Elvira Rodriguez, and Yazmin Rodriguez sued McDonald's, franchise owners Lawrence and Eileen Kushner, and Rojas, in Cook County Court.
"The McDonald's restaurant where the unlawful conduct took place has a closed office space that is used to count change which has a door to close and lock," the women say in their 32-page complaint.
"On May 30, 2012, Rojas ordered Elvira to the office space where he exposed his erect penis and demanded oral intercourse.
"Sandra, a second swing shift manager, witnessed the encounter and her response was to shut the door for Rojas to have privacy."
Sandra is not named as a defendant.
"After refusing his demand for oral intercourse, on a regular basis while on duty Rojas has prevented Elvira from using the bathroom or from having a water break for over five (5) hours at a time," the complaint states.
Three other women make similar allegations.
"In April 2011, Rojas isolated Adriana in office; he would then fondled [sic] her breast and put his hand down her pants and performed digital penetration. ...
"Adriana's minor son witnesses the abusive behavior of Rojas toward women at the restaurant and he questioned if his mother is subject to the same abuse.
"Between August 2011 and November 2011, Rojas repeatedly locked Adriana in the office and a second supervisor Sandra was aware of the abuse the Rojas was responsible for in the workplace."
Adriana, like Elvira, says she did not report the predations for fear of retaliation.
Adriana claims: "Rojas exposed his erect penis and pushed Adriana's head down to his erect penis and forced his erect penis in her mouth to perform oral intercourse.
"The oral intercourse would continue until he pulled his penis out of her mouth and ejaculated into his hand or tissue paper.
"Adriana was not allowed to go on breaks and she was forced to urinate in her pants on at least two (2) occasions."
Rodriguez claims that "while seated in the office of McDonald's restaurant, Rojas rubbed his erect penis in his pants and rubbed it against her shoulder. She repealed [sic] his offensive touch and ran from the office."
Perez claims that she rejected Rojas' predations and so "was forced to work without breaks and the option to use the restrooms."
Three of the women claim they did not report Rojas' behavior "for fear of retaliation," and Rodriguez says she was fired after reporting it to Eileen Kushner.
All four women claim: "Eileen and Lawrence [Kushner] knew that if the systematic sexual abuse that was perpetuated by Rojas was exposed they would encounter a scandal and could be legally liable for the acts and misconduct of Rojas.
"Eileen and Lawrence allowed a sexually charged work environment where workers are aware of the sexually deviant behavior of Rojas, but they chose to ignore the complaints of the women.
"At all relevant times, Eileen and Lawrence did not have policies, practices or procedures in place that would have allowed the women to come forward to report the abuse without retaliation; such negligence ultimately allowed the abuse to escalate in the workplace to multiple employees."
The plaintiffs seek punitive damages for assault and battery, false imprisonment, emotional distress, retaliation, constructive discharge, negligence, and negligent supervision.
They are represented by Ann O'Connell, in Palatine.