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McDonald’s to start focus groups with owners as part of civil rights audit

A McDonald’s restaurant near Times Square, NYC on July 29th, 2023. 

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

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.

The fast food giant retained WilmerHale law firm to conduct the examination of its practices, the memo said.

Last year, shareholders approved of a proposal by SOC Investment group to conduct a civil rights audit in a close vote. At the time, SOC urged shareholders to back the measure ahead of the company’s annual meeting, saying, “McDonald’s plans do not adequately address the company’s civil rights impact because it largely overlooks concerns with franchisees, which make up 95% of its U.S. restaurants.”

The audit aims to determine whether the company’s policies have an adverse impact on McDonald’s U.S. stakeholders, including…

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