(WOMENSENEWS)–Two managers of a Utah McDonald’s forced an 18-year-old girl to jog naked in front of them as punishment for allegedly stealing a child’s coin purse, according to a lawsuit the teen-ager filed in federal court Wednesday.
Attorneys for the young woman, identified in court papers only as “Jane Doe,” say that she also was strip-searched and forced into suggestive poses by the managers, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Friday. The nine-count complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Utah, alleges civil rights violations including invasion of privacy, false imprisonment and defamation. The teen is seeking a jury trial and unspecified real and punitive damages from franchisee T.J. Goodman Inc. of Vernal, Utah, and McDonald’s Corporation.
“It is hard to believe this happened, but it is a real case,” her attorney, Robert H. Wilde, told The Tribune. “This was literally the first job she had ever had and the two managers were the authority figures in her life at that moment.”
The May 29 incident began when a man identifying himself as a McDonald’s district manager called the franchise in the eastern Utah town of Roosevelt to report that a little girl’s coin purse had been stolen and that the plaintiff was a suspect, according to court documents.
Over the next two hours, the two on-duty managers–a man and a woman–allegedly followed the caller’s instructions to “pat search” the woman, to search her car and then strip-search her.
The coin purse was never found and the call was later found to be a hoax. The suit claims that the call was similar to those made to other McDonald’s restaurants prompting managers to search female employees.
The teen-ager quit her job immediately after the incident, Wilde said.
Craig Annunziata, an attorney for the Roosevelt franchise, declined to comment. “All of our positions in this case will be set forth in coming court filings,” he told The Tribune.