Why is sexual harassment so common in restaurants?

| Mar 7, 2020 | Sexual Harassment |

Though sexual harassment occurs in just about every industry, it is far more prevalent in some fields than in others. If you count yourself among those who make your living working in a California restaurant, you may face an especially high chance of experiencing sexual harassment while on the job. 

According to USA Today, the restaurant industry sees an alarmingly high number of sexual harassment reports, with more than 14% of all such allegations made between 2005 and 2015 coming from the food service and hospitality sector. Black and Latina women are among those most likely to experience sexual harassment in a restaurant setting. Fast-food workers, too, are frequent victims, with about 40% of them reporting experiencing unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. 

Why is it that the restaurant and food-service industry sees more sexual harassment claims than so many others? For starters, it is typically a male-dominated field, with men holding the majority of leadership roles in the kitchen as well as the dining area. Additionally, many restaurant workers who work in high-end eateries feel as if they have little recourse when subjected to sexual harassment because they fear that the men in positions of power there have absolute control over their jobs. 

The fact that many restaurant workers and managers are young may also contribute to the industry’s high number of sexual harassment claims. In some cases, young workers simply do not know what is and is not appropriate in a professional environment. In others, young or new managers lack the knowledge necessary to properly train those working beneath them about how to avoid sexual harassment allegations. 


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