Fifty-two former black franchisees are suing McDonald's on allegations of discrimination.
The lawsuit states the fast-food giant steered black franchisees toward less profitable locations while withholding the same support it provided white franchises, sending the black-owned franchises on "financial suicide missions."
“The notion that McDonald’s is a friend of the black entrepreneur is complete fiction,” said James L. Ferraro, the attorney representing the franchisees.
The 52 plaintiffs in the case owned about 200 U.S. stores in the U.S. before selling, and seek compensation between $4 million and $5 million per store.
The lawsuit comes as McDonald's continues to seek legal action against former CEO Steve Easterbrook.
McDonald's categorically denied the claims, saying “[t]hese allegations fly in the face of everything we stand for as an organization and as a partner to communities and small business owners around the world," in a statement.
TheStreet's Tony Owusu joined Katherine Ross to break down the case and what it could mean for McDonald's.
Through his reporting on the lawsuit, Owusu learned McDonald's franchisee system wasn't integrated until 1969 through a boycott.
"Even though McDonald's has taken strides to include black people, supposedly, they [the plaintiffs] are saying it's still engrained in its franchisee system.
Read Owusu's full report on McDonald's here.