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McDonald's C.E.O. Fired over a relationship that becomes a taboo



McDonald's Human Resources Manager David Fairhurst left the company on Monday. A spokeswoman for the fast-food chain would not say if the phase-out was linked to the investigation of Mr. Easterbrook's relationship.

In recent years, other companies have adopted similar measures to punish relationships in the workplace. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned last year after finding out he had a relationship with a co-worker – a violation of Intel's "non-franchise" policy that applies to all managers.

Trend towards a written policy that prohibits romantic relationships between executives and their subordinates, "said Mark Spund, a labor lawyer in New York .

The guidelines can take various forms. For example, many companies allow mid-level managers to maintain relationships with employees as long as they report on the relationship. The rules for leaders tend to be stricter.

"Companies to #MeToo have truly understood that there is an inherent power gap and that what the executives perceive as consensual may not be compatible with the subordinate," said Debra Katz, a labor lawyer. in Washington who has extensively dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace.

Nonetheless, sensitivity to workplace relations – especially those associated with power imbalances – long before the #Metoo movement drew national attention to the misconduct of men in power, trembled among others the entertainment, media and technology industries.

In 2012, Best Buy's CEO, Brian Dunn, resigned following a "very close personal relationship with a co-worker."

Both Mr. Dunn and the co-worker stated that the relationship was not romantic. However, a Best Buy investigation revealed that Mr. Dunn had given employees tickets to sporting events and concerts and that the couple had exchanged numerous phone calls and texts, some of which contained "loving messages".


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