More than 100 current and former employees of McDonald's outlets in the UK have made allegations of a toxic culture characterized by sexual assault, harassment, racism, and bullying.
The BBC received reports that workers, some as young as 17, are frequently subjected to groping and harassment.
In response to the BBC's findings, the UK equality watchdog expressed concern and announced the launch of an email hotline.
McDonald's acknowledged that it had failed to meet expectations and issued a deep apology, emphasizing that all employees deserve a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace.
The investigation by the BBC commenced in February after McDonald's entered into a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to protect its staff from sexual harassment.
McDonald's had previously asserted its strong track record in this area, but the investigation uncovered a significantly different reality.
Out of the over 100 employee allegations shared during the five-month investigation, 31 were related to sexual assault, while 78 were related to sexual harassment.