While sexual harassment can occur in any type of employment setting across California, research shows that your chances of falling victim to it may be higher in some lines of work than in others. If, for example, you count yourself among those who earn your living working in the restaurant or food-service industries, you may be more likely to experience sexual harassment than you would be, had you worked in a different sector.
According to USA Today, American workers filed more than 41,000 sexual harassment claims between 20005 and 2015, and more than 14% of those claims originated from within the restaurant or food-service industries. A separate study involving workers in the fast-food industry, specifically, revealed that 40% of women making their living in this type of work environment have experienced on-the-job sexual harassment.
Statistics show that your race or skin color may, too, impact your chances of becoming a victim of sexual harassment. Latina and African American women, in particular, tend to face higher rates of this type of behavior than other women. Just what is it that makes sexual harassment so common within the restaurant and food-service industries?
Ultimately, a number of different factors contribute to the high incidence of sexual harassment in restaurants, but some of it likely comes from the hierarchal structure often found in restaurant settings. The fact that many restaurant managers are young and inexperienced may, too, play a role, as they may not fully understand how to recognize instances of sexual harassment or know how to properly train their staff members not to do it. In some cases, close quarters and the adrenaline that can accompany restaurant work may, too, contribute to the high incidence of sexual harassment in these settings.
This information about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the food-service industry is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.