Why is sexual harassment so pervasive in restaurants?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | sexual harassment |

Some Pennsylvania work environments see more sexual harassment than others. If you make your living working in the restaurant or food-service industry, you face a particularly high chance of falling victim to sexual harassment. Restaurant environments have many elements that make them hotbeds for this type of behavior, and a recent study looks to examine these elements.

Per NPR, many restaurant workers, and in particular, female restaurant workers, experience sexual harassment. Many of them also experience it on a regular basis.

Statistics about sexual harassment in restaurants

Research shows that 70% of female restaurant workers say they have been sexually harassed on the job. Also, half of those women also report experiencing this treatment at least once a week. The problem has become so widespread industrywide that restaurant workers now file more sexual harassment claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission than workers in any other industry.

Factors contributing to sexual harassment in restaurants

There are a number of factors that contribute to the sexual harassment culture in restaurants. The fact that most employees depend on tips to make their living is among them. When workers have to rely on tips, and when they have to remain polite and courteous in their dealings with customers, they face elevated risks of falling victim to sexual harassment.  The fact that the restaurant industry is male-dominated also raises sexual harassment risks for females who work within it.

More than half of female workers in tipped positions say their reliance on tips forces them to accept harassing or demeaning behaviors they otherwise would not.