However in October 2019, the corporate used to be notified that Mr. Easterbrook had engaged in an irrelevant courting with a McDonald’s worker. Mr. Easterbrook and the worker, who has no longer been publicly known, informed the corporate that the connection used to be consensual and used to be no longer bodily; it consisted of textual content messages and movies. Mr. Easterbrook confident the corporate’s out of doors investigators that he had by no means engaged in a sexual courting with an worker.
The board of administrators nevertheless made up our minds to fireplace him. The query that the administrators regarded as used to be whether or not he can be fired “for reason” — in different phrases, for an offense equivalent to dishonesty or committing a criminal offense. It used to be a an important choice. If Mr. Easterbrook used to be fired for reason, he must relinquish up to now awarded reimbursement, together with inventory choices that he used to be no longer but eligible to money in.
McDonald’s stated in its lawsuit on Monday that its board had feared that seeking to hearth Mr. Easterbrook for reason can be “sure to embroil the corporate in a long dispute with him.” As a substitute, the board opted to ease Mr. Easterbrook out “with as little disruption as conceivable.”
The corporate allowed Mr. Easterbrook to stay his inventory choices and different reimbursement.
However McDonald’s severance plan, which the corporate stated implemented to Mr. Easterbrook, contained crucial clause: If, one day, McDonald’s made up our minds that an worker used to be cheating and in fact deserved to be fired for reason, the corporate had the best to recoup the severance payouts.
Remaining month, after McDonald’s won the nameless tip alleging that Mr. Easterbrook had had a sexual courting with some other worker, the corporate opened a brand new investigation.
In its overview final fall, McDonald’s didn’t completely seek via Mr. Easterbrook’s e mail account; the corporate’s out of doors legal professionals had handiest checked out messages that had been on his company-issued cell phone. And Mr. Easterbrook, in keeping with McDonald’s lawsuit, had deleted sure emails from his telephone.
This time, McDonald’s stated, its investigators carried out a extra detailed seek, and in Mr. Easterbrook’s e mail account they discovered proof of him wearing on sexual relationships with 3 staff within the yr ahead of his firing.