Thanks to the #metoo movement and other social changes that have arisen lately, there are many men and women coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment. One industry that has historically high levels of sexual harassment is the restaurant industry.
In a 2017 report, 90 percent of women and 70 percent of men were subjected to sexual harassment while in the restaurant industry. This is more than any other industry. Restaurant industry workers report a number of different ways they were subjected to sexual harassment including innuendo, propositions, sexual jokes, catcalls, groping, and unwanted physical touching. The behaviors were so prevalent that many of the survey respondents described them as part of the job.
Types of sexual harassment prevalent in industry
There are several factors why sexual harassment is prevalent in the food and beverage industry. These include:
- Prevalence of young and insecure women with managers who are often male and slightly older.
- A culture of “the customer is always right” which doesn’t allow managers to stick up for their employees who are being harassed by customers.
- Poorly trained male managers who don’t understand how to fairly treat their female employees.
- Tipping system which encourages customer sexual harassment.
If a person has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, they should understand that it is illegal. A legal professional who is skilled in employment law can help their client understand their options. Discrimination and harassment are illegal and those who are subject to these workplace events have the right to hold their supervisors accountable.