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Sexual harassment plagues the restaurant industry

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2021 | Employment Law |

There’s no doubt that sexual harassment continues to pervade every profession in America. Yet, some industries see it more often than others. Restaurant workers, for example, know the realities of sexual harassment all too well.

The extent of sexual harassment in the restaurant setting

According to a recent study, 41% of restaurant workers reported a noticeable increase in the amount of sexualized comments that they received in the last year, while another 25% indicated that they’ve seen a significant increase in sexual harassment in that same time period. This study comes on the heels of a 2018 study conducted by Harvard researchers which found that as many as 90% of women and 70% of men who work in the restaurant industry are subjected to sexual harassment.

Why is sexual harassment in the restaurant industry so rampant?

There are several reasons. To start, the restaurant industry often focuses on customer satisfaction. After all, that’s one of the best ways for them to generate repeat business. But when it comes to sexual harassment, this means that employers oftentimes refuse to confront customers and instead brush sexual harassment under the rug. This perpetuates an environment where customers are free to sexually harass at will.

Another driving factor behind sexual harassment in this industry is how workers are paid. Since in most instances tips drive the majority of worker pay, workers themselves are hesitant to raise the issue for fear of losing out on much needed income.

Don’t let your future be affected by sexual harassment

If you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, then you may be justified in taking legal action against the person who harassed you. But if you reported the harassment and were then subjected to a negative employment action, like being demoted, reassigned, given fewer hours, or fired, then you can take legal action against your employer.

We know that it can be hard to stand up for yourself in these circumstances. But attorneys like those at our firm stand ready to be open and honest with you about your situation, and give you the voice that you need to protect your interests, your future, and to find accountability for actions that have put the futures of far too many workers in jeopardy. If you’d like to learn more about how we do that, then please continue to browse our website.