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Fast-food industry rife with sexual harassment problems

by | Oct 18, 2016 | Firm News, sexual harassment |

Pennsylvania women who work in the fast food industry might face sexual harassment at their workplaces. Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,217 women around the country of the age of 16 and older during the week of July 22 through July 27. The women all worked in non-managerial fast-food jobs.

According to the survey results, 40 percent of the women reported that they had received unwelcome sexual advances at work. Twenty-eight percent reported that they had been kissed, touched, teased, harassed or told dirty jokes multiple times. The survey also found that one out of every eight female fast-food workers feel trapped in their jobs because of sexual harassment that is occurring.

A 2014 study of casual full-service dining chains found that 90 percent of male and female workers in those establishments had experienced sexual harassment on the job. That study, which was conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center United, did not examine fast-food chain restaurants, however. Some restaurant chains have recently been in the news for sexual harassment. In one case involving Chipotle, a teenage girl sued the chain after she was sexually harassed by her supervisor. She was awarded $7.65 million. New York’s Le Cirque is currently embroiled in a sexual harassment lawsuit, and multiple employees have recently come forward regarding sexual harassment they received while working at McDonald’s.

Sexual harassment can result in a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is illegal, and people who are victims of it might want to talk to an employment law attorney to see what recourse may be available. If the procedure set forth in the employee manual for reporting this behavior is followed but the situation continues, the next step might be to file a claim with the EEOC.