McDonald’s scrutinizes Fairhurst’s role in Easterbrook severance suit

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Easterbrook acknowledged only one consensual sexting relationship before his termination in November 2019. Easterbrook was terminated “without cause” allowing him to receive a multi-million dollar severance package and benefits. 

In July, McDonald’s launched a second investigation into Easterbrook’s termination based on an anonymous tip. Investigators found photos that the company says in a court filing provide “indisputable evidence” of Easterbrook’s sexual relationships with three employees.

The lawsuit and Easterbrook’s response has been called the most public corporate airing of dirty laundry in recent memory. 

McDonald’s alleges that Easterbrook lied, committed fraud, destroyed evidence, as well as violated corporate policy by having sex with three of his subordinates. They claim to have explicit photographic, as well as video and email evidence to support the case. 

Fairhurst and Easterbrook allegations of misconduct

Fairhurst and Easterbrook both started careers with McDonald’s in the UK corporate office. Easterbrook became the company’s first British CEO. Fairhurst was hired in 2005 and was promoted and awarded for his service. He won HR Magazine’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for an HR Practitioner in 2012.