The organization Fight for $15, which formed to fight for fair wages in the restaurant industry, organized the nationwide protest after learning about repeated cases of harassment that female employees experienced over several years, organizers said.
"The walkout is believed to be the first USA strike to confront sexual harassment in more than 100 years", according to advocacy group Fight for $15, which is coordinating the event.
That committee would ideally comprise workers, representatives from corporate and franchise stores, leaders of national women's groups, and "would chart a path forward to make sure nobody who works for McDonald's faces sexual harassment on the job", according to Equal Rights Advocates.
The new allegations come nearly two years after 15 McDonald's workers in Fight for $15 filed a series of sexual harassment complaints against the company.
One St. Louis woman told 5 On Your Side that a guy she worked with constantly pushed and treated her inappropriately, but management did nothing.
Responding to rampant alleged sexual misconduct and emboldened by the #MeToo movement taking root nationally, McDonald's workers across 10 USA cities abandoned their restaurants at lunchtime Tuesday to take part in what is being hailed as the first multi-state strike to specifically target sexual harassment.
"'They want people to think they care, but they don't care", Harrell told the AP.
In a statement McDonald's said: "There is no place for harassment or discrimination of any kind at McDonald's".
In Chicago, another worker said she was sacked after she reported her manager for sexual harassment, according to NWLC.
However, when she reported the incident her "supervisors did nothing". They are being backed by the Fight for $15 low-wage group and the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, founded earlier this year to help provide lawyers for women who don't have the money to hire one.
"Everybody's been fearless about it", she said.
In an email to the AP, McDonald's officials wrote, "We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically created to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment". No action was taken against the co-worker. Further, the company has "engaged experts in the areas of prevention and response including RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), to evolve our policies", noted the chain. "I feel uncomfortable, afraid and upset", she said.