McDonald’s has filed a lawsuit against former chief executive officer Stephen Easterbrook to recover his exit package after an internal investigation showed that he had sexual relationships with multiple employees, violating company policy.
Easterbrook “concealed evidence and lied about his wrongdoing” and had physical sexual relationships with three McDonald’s employees in the year before his termination, the filing said.
McDonald’s added that Easterbrook approved an “extraordinary” stock grant, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for one of those employees in the midst of their sexual relationship.
In November last year the former McDonald's chief stepped down after having a relationship with an employee that violated company policy.
At the time and after almost five years at the corporation's helm, Easterbrook acknowledged the affair in an email to workers, adding that it was a mistake.
McDonald's forbids managers from having romantic relationships with direct or indirect employees.
In November, the company said Easterbrook was eligible for six months of severance pay, which would have been £515,503, based on his 2018 base salary of $1.35 million.
He was also eligible for prorated payment for hitting 2019 performance targets.
“Easterbrook’s silence and lies - a clear breach of the duty of candor - were calculated to induce the Company to separate him on terms much more favorable to him than those the Company would have offered and agreed to had it known the full truth of his behavior,” McDonald’s said in the filing.