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Press Release 02-28-2022

Pensec Settles EEOC Race Discrimination Claim

Milwaukee McDonald’s Franchise Refused to Hire Black Applicants, Federal Agency Charged

MILWAUKEE – Pensec, Inc., a Wisconsin corporation which operates nine McDonald’s fast food restaurants, will pay $31,137 and furnish other relief to resolve a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Pensec failed or refused to hire Black applicants because of their race. Unsuccessful black applicants at the location were told the store manager, “Don’t like n-----s,” and that the store needed “Spanish people.” That location, on West Washington Street in Milwaukee, also had a statistically significant shortfall in the hiring of black employees based on census data for the area.

This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Civil Action No. 21-cv-1409) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin after attempting to resolve the case through its concili­ation process.

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree entered by U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller prohibits the company from discriminating in the future; requires the company to make best efforts to reach hiring goals for black employees; and mandates Pensec provide training on Title VII to its employees and make regular reports to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the decree.

“Stopping race discrimination in hiring is one of the fundamental objectives of the EEOC,” said Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago. “This consent decree furthers those objectives by re­quiring that the company take steps to reform its hiring practices.”

Julianne Bowman, director of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office, added, “We are pleased that we were able to resolve this case with Pensec. The consent decree will ensure that the federal laws against discrimination are followed, that all future applicants, regardless of their race, will be given the consideration that they de­serve.”

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.

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