Longtime employee accuses McDonald's of age discriminination

By Elizabeth Alt | Apr 29, 2018

ST. LOUIS – A woman has filed a lawsuit alleging a Missouri McDonald’s restaurant fired her after almost 30 years due to her age and gender, and claims she suffered from multiple instances of harassment.

The lawsuit filed by Ruth Peckinpaugh seeks damages for economic loss, pain and suffering and other damages. The lawsuit cites the Age Discrimination in Employment and the Missouri Human Rights acts, stating, “Defendant’s actions invariably constitute an ongoing pattern and practice of discrimination.”

Peckinpaugh was hired at the McDonald’s in Pacific in 1989, where she worked for almost three decades until her termination in 2017. Peckinpaugh states she worked as many shifts as possible to help care for her ill mother and had no disciplinary issues during her employment.

Peckinpaugh claims that in 2014, a new female supervisor was hired and had “disdain” for Peckinpaugh. The lawsuit alleges that the supervisor and others “mistreated and discriminated against plaintiff due to her age and her sex." 

She claims this behavior was not aimed at the younger or male employees, and that the supervisor “continually and repeatedly blamed plaintiff for countless problems occurring at the workplace” that were not her fault and threatened to “take” Peckinpaugh’s paycheck.

The complaint further alleges that a co-worker threatened Peckinpaugh with a knife and sexually harassed her. Peckinpaugh alleges McDonald’s failed to protect her by maintaining a safe work environment and “specifically ignored plaintiff’s pleas for protection when she was being sexually harassed by other employees."

The lawsuit seeks to “remedy the illegal and discriminatory adverse employment actions taken by the defendant against the plaintiff in which defendant created, maintained, and subjected plaintiff to a hostile and discriminatory work environment, wherein which she was repeatedly harassed and intimidated over the course of several years."

Peckinpaugh is represented by Daniel F. Harvath with Harvath Law Group LLC.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri case number 18-CV-00645

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