- McDonald’s has slammed ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook’s motion to dismiss the fast food giant’s lawsuit against Easterbrook in a Monday filing.
- “When McDonald’s investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied,” McDonald’s said in a statement.
- “He violated company policies, disrespected its values and abused the trust of his colleagues, the board of directors, our franchisees and our shareholders. “
- McDonald’s is suing Easterbrook, alleging that the former CEO attempted to destroy evidence of sex with three employees while he was running the company.
- Easterbrook’s lawyer said in a counter-filing earlier in August that McDonald’s had access to evidence of Easterbrook’s sexual relationship when he fired the CEO in November 2019.
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McDonald’s slammed a motion to dismiss its case against former CEO Steve Easterbrook in a case Monday.
The motion response brief to dismiss McDonald’s complaint begins with the line: “When McDonald’s investigated, its CEO lied. The fast food giant is suing Easterbrook, claiming the former CEO withheld evidence of sex with employees.
McDonald’s argues in Monday’s filing that Easterbrook “breached its fiduciary obligations of frankness and loyalty and fraudulently obtained a” no cause “termination.
The “needless” nature of his departure in November 2019 meant Easterbrook could receive substantial severance pay, which McDonald’s is now trying to recoup.
The Monday filing comes after Easterbrook’s lawyer filed a motion to dismiss McDonald’s lawsuit against him.
Easterbrook claimed McDonald’s had access to the alleged misconduct evidence when she accepted her separation in November 2019.
McDonald’s argues in Monday’s filing that investigators’ failure to originally uncover evidence of Easterbrook’s sexual relations with employees does not warrant a motion to dismiss.
“After the discovery, on a full factual record, Easterbrook may attempt to argue that McDonald’s should have investigated differently and uncovered his deception earlier,” the record read.
On August 10, McDonald’s filed a lawsuit claiming the company had found “compelling evidence” of Easterbrook’s sex with three employees, in the form of dozens of nude, sexually explicit photos taken in late 2018 and early 2019.
According to McDonald’s, the company discovered the photos as part of an investigation into the former CEO in July, as attachments to an email Easterbrook sent to itself from his company email.
The complaint said Easterbrook attempted to cover up the relationship and remove the email in question from his phone while he was under investigation for another relationship with an employee.
Following the first investigation, Easterbrook was dismissed without cause. But the deal fell apart this summer after McDonald’s received an anonymous tip regarding Easterbrook’s relationship with employees.
He then sued the CEO to recover his severance packages, which executive compensation tracking company Equilar could be worth $ 57.3 million.
Easterbrook’s lawyer called McDonald’s lawsuit ‘baseless’ and ‘misleading’
Easterbrook’s attorney said in an Aug. 14 counter-filing that McDonald’s “filed a baseless – and misleading – lawsuit in the wrong forum. ”
McDonald’s filed the case in Delaware instead of Illinois, where McDonald’s is based and where Easterbrook’s attorney argued the complaint should have been filed.
Additionally, Easterbrook’s motion to dismiss the complaint argues that McDonald’s already had access to the nude photos – found on the company’s servers – when she conducted her first investigation and reached her separation agreement with Easterbrook.
According to the McDonald’s filing on Monday, any legal action relating to breaches of fiduciary duty by directors or officers of the company must be filed in Delaware, according to the company’s articles.
“When McDonald’s investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied,” McDonald’s said in a statement to Business Insider.
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