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Press Release 12-14-2021

EEOC Sues Pensec Inc. for Race Discrimination

McDonald’s Franchise Failed to Hire Black Applicants, Federal Agency Charges

MILWAUKEE, WI – Pensec, Inc., a Wisconsin corporation which operates nine McDonald’s fast food restaurants, violated federal law by failing or refusing to hire a class of black applicants at its West Washington Street location in Milwaukee, WI,  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed yesterday.

According to the lawsuit, unsuccessful black applicants at the location were told the store manager “Don’t like n----s” and that the store needed “Spanish people.”  The location also had a statistically significant shortfall in the hiring of black employees based on 2010 census data for Milwaukee County.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race.  The EEOC filed suit against the company in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (EEOC v. Pensec Inc. dba McDonald’s, Civil Action No. 21-cv-1409) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.  The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for a class of black applicants, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination by Pensec.

The EEOC’s Chicago District Director Julianne Bowman said, “At the time EEOC began investigating the franchise’s hiring practices, the restaurant had very few black employees. The absence of black employees was highly unlikely the result of chance.”

“Unfortunately, race discrimination continues to be a barrier to African-Americans obtaining employment. This is the latest in a series of such challenges,” said Gregory Gochanour, EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago.

Individuals who know about Pensec’s hiring practices or who believe they were not hired by the company at the West Washington location because of their race/national origin, can contact the EEOC at 414-662-3684.

The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

For more information about race discrimination, visit

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimin¬ation. More information is available on its website at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.