Ousted former McDonald's boss Steve Easterbrook is facing new claims that he covered up bad behaviour by other staff while sleeping with an employee.
Mr Easterbrook is said to have overlooked wrongdoing at the fast food firm's HR department before his shock sacking last year after allegedly failing to reveal details of as many as four sexual relationships with workers. McDonald's is now investigating new claims following a tip-off to chairman Rick Hernandez from a whistleblower.
The 53-year-old Watford-born chief executive is accused of lying about what happened to company investigators, and deleting evidence to secure a golden parachute of over $40m (£35m). McDonald's is suing Mr Easterbrook to recover the severance pay.
Human resources chief David Fairhurst was also sacked a day after Mr Easterbrook.
The latest developments were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. McDonald's did not provide details about allegations relating to the HR department. Mr Fairhurst could not be contacted for comment.
The company said: “The board will follow the facts wherever they may lead. We will continue to make changes, where necessary, to support all parts of our organisation.”
McDonald's investigators have allegedly recovered dozens of sexually explicit photographs and videos of the women involved, which Mr Easterbook is said to have sent from his work email account to his personal one.
It is also claimed that he approved a grant of shares worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to one female worker while they were having a sexual relationship.
McDonald's is now suing its former boss for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
Last week lawyers for Mr Easterbrook said McDonald’s was aware of his relationships with employees when it negotiated his separation agreement.
In a filing at Delaware Chancery Court that sought to have the lawsuit thrown out, they said: “McDonald’s – a sophisticated entity represented by numerous internal and external experts when it entered into the separation agreement – is aware it cannot credibly allege a breach of contract claim.
“Instead, it improperly seeks to manufacture claims for a breach of fiduciary duty or fraud.”