Sexual harassment is a real problem for many people in many places. Whether male or female, African-American or Caucasian, at work or at school, there are thousands of instances of sexual assault that range from inappropriate touching to lewd jokes or obscene gestures. The problem could be even worse than some realize, since many instances of sexual harassment go unreported. However, a recent survey has given the country at least a partial glimpse of how common sexual harassment is with data from the restaurant industry.
In a survey conducted with almost 700 people who have experience working in restaurants from nearly 40 states, researchers found that two-thirds of female employees and even a majority of male employees claimed that they had been sexually harassed by managers. An overwhelming majority, 80 percent for women and 70 percent for men, claimed that they had been sexually harassed by coworkers. Some workers claimed that the problem was even worse when faced with sexual harassment by customers. Wait staff feel that they must endure the harassment for the sake of a good tip.
The problem even seems to extend to the expected behavior of the workers themselves. According to the survey, some participants claimed that they were encouraged to play along by their managers, with some being told to wear sexier cloths and smile more.
As a popular tourist area and large metropolis, there are many restaurants in the San Francisco area of California. Employees of these restaurants are reminded that they have rights, and that they are protected from sexual harassment by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. If you have experienced sexual harassment at your place of work, you are encouraged to speak out about your experience. Consulting with an attorney can ensure that you are given the fair, legal treatment that you deserve.