Read more below ⬇️

McDonald’s will begin virtual focus groups with some owners and operators as a part of an ongoing civil rights audit, according to a message to franchisees viewed by CNBC.
In 2022, shareholders approved of a proposal by SOC Investment Group to conduct a civil rights audit in a close vote.
The fast food giant retained WilmerHale law firm to conduct the audit, the memo said.
system in recent years. In December 2021, McDonald’s pledged to recruit more franchisees from diverse backgrounds, committing $250 million over the next five years to help those candidates finance a restaurant.

Current and former Black franchisees have sued the company, alleging racial discrimination. One of the suits was dismissed, while an action brought by former MLB player Herb Washington resulted in a $33.5 million settlement from McDonald’s.

The company also faces two separate lawsuits from media mogul Byron Allen, alleging discrimination in its advertising practices. McDonald’s has fired back against Allen in recent weeks, filing a motion for sanctions against the media companies owned by Allen. It claimed one of his suits was “frivolous” and “filled with allegations that he knows are false.”

The company has also committed to increase its advertising spending with Black-owned media from 2% to 5% of its ad expenses by 2024. In the filing responding to Allen, it said it was on track to meet those goals.

Other major companies including Citi, Starbucks and Airbnb have undertaken civil rights audits in recent years, and last year Apple and Amazon shareholders approved proposals for similar assessments.