Why is sexual harassment so pervasive in restaurants?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Employment Law |

As someone who makes a living working in a Delaware restaurant, the chance that you have experienced some type of on-the-job sexual harassment is high. Research shows that while sexual harassment occurs across virtually all industries, it is especially problematic within the restaurant industry.

Per NPR, females who work in restaurants are particularly susceptible to sexual harassment, with 70% of female restaurant workers reporting having experienced this treatment. Half of the nation’s female restaurant workers also say they experience workplace sexual harassment on a weekly basis. Some of the reasons restaurants are such hotbeds for this type of activity are as follows.

Restaurant workers often rely on tips

Female restaurant workers represent about two-thirds of tipped restaurant employees. As a female restaurant worker who depends on tips, you may be less likely to call out customer behaviors that might make you uncomfortable because you fear it might impact your income. Your employer may also encourage you to smile, regardless of circumstances, as part of your job. If a manager or supervisor is harassing you, you may also feel reluctant to call attention to it for fear of getting less favorable hours or section assignments.

Restaurant workers face historical challenges

Sexual harassment in the restaurant industry is not new. Many restaurants have mostly males in positions of power, and this may also contribute to the high incidence of sexual harassment in hospitality. There is also a history of tolerance when it comes to this type of harassment in the industry.

You have a right to show up to work each day without experiencing on-the-job sexual harassment. You may, too, have legal protections available to you as a victim of it.