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PRESS RELEASE
8-17-05

Pictured from Left to Right Are Atlanta District Director Bernice Williams-Kimbrough 
and Brett Rawitz, Managing Counsel for McDonald's USA, LL

Pictured from Left to Right Are Atlanta District Director Bernice Williams-Kimbrough and Brett Rawitz, Managing Counsel for McDonald's USA, LL

EEOC AND MCDONALD’S USA, LLC SIGN REGIONAL UNIVERSAL MEDIATION AGREEMENT

Latest RUAM Continues Trend of EEOC Partnerships with Corporate America

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and McDonald’s USA, LLC today announced the signing of a Regional Universal Agreement to Mediate (RUAM) to informally resolve workplace disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) prior to an EEOC investigation or potential litigation when a charge of discrimination is filed with the federal agency in McDonald’s Atlanta Region. Illinois-based McDonald’s owns and operates a number of restaurants in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, which will be covered by the agreement.

The mediation partnership marks the 90th such national or regional agreement between the EEOC and a large employer (mainly Fortune 500 companies) and bolsters a multi-year trend of Corporate America signing on to the Commission's widely acclaimed mediation program - one of the largest employment-related ADR programs of its kind nationwide, with approximately 11,600 mediations conducted annually.

"We applaud McDonald’s and welcome their participation in the EEOC's mediation program," said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, Director of EEOC's Atlanta District Office, who signed the RUAM on behalf of Commission Chair Cari M. Dominguez.

Williams-Kimbrough added: "There are numerous benefits that flow from participating in the EEOC’s mediation program: it is fair, non-adversarial, expeditious and cost-effective. Additionally, it allows the parties to craft the resolution to the conflict that best meets their mutual needs - which provides everyone the best opportunity to bring closure to the issues in a mutually satisfactory manner."

Brett Rawitz, Managing Counsel for McDonald’s USA, LLC said: "McDonald’s is committed to maintaining a respectful workplace free of discrimination. The company’s policies prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment, and provide for a thorough investigation of claims of inappropriate conduct. This agreement is consistent with our commitment to our employees to take their concerns seriously and find ways to resolve concerns fairly and efficiently. We very much look forward to working with the EEOC in this program."

Under the terms of the RUAM, all eligible charges of discrimination filed with the Commission naming McDonald's USA, LLC as the employer/respondent will be referred to the EEOC's mediation unit, as appropriate. The company will designate a corporate representative to handle all inquiries and other logistical matters related to potential charges in order to facilitate a prompt scheduling of the matter for EEOC mediation.

Expanding mediation is a key component of Chair Dominguez's Five-Point Plan to improve the EEOC's overall operational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to the 90 national and regional UAMs, EEOC district offices have entered into approximately 775 mediation agreements with employers at the local levels within their respective jurisdictions.

The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government. Further information about the Commission is available online at www.eeoc.gov.

McDonald's USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald's 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. For more information about McDonald's visit www.mcdonalds.com.