McDonald’s says in a lawsuit that in July it received an anonymous tip that Easterbrook had engaged in a sexual relationship with another employee. After an investigation, McDonald’s confirmed that relationship as well as two other physical, sexual relationships in the year before he was fired. Easterbrook also approved a special grant of restricted stock, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to one of those employees, the lawsuit said.
The company said Monday that Easterbrook removed evidence of those relationships — including sexually explicit photos and videos sent from corporate email accounts — from his cellphone, preventing investigators from learning about them prior to his firing.
In a lawsuit filed in Delaware, McDonald’s said it would not have terminated Easterbrook without cause if it had known of the additional relationships.
McDonald’s is now attempting to block Easterbrook from exercising his stock options and said it will seek compensatory damages.
A message seeking comment was left with Easterbrook's attorney.
McDonald’s shares were flat at $203.17 in morning trading.