A recent study highlights the dark side of being a working woman in the restaurant industry: namely that 9 out of 10 female restaurant workers will experience sexual harassment at several times during their career. To go even further, half of all the female restaurant workers surveyed reported experiencing sexual harassment at work on a weekly basis.
The report, which was released by ROC United (Restaurant Opportunities Center United), surveyed almost 700 restaurant workers across 39 states. The results showed that the most vulnerable workers are those who work off of tips, which would in most cases, include waitresses and bartenders. The array of the types of harassment ranged from provocation from customers, to being told by managers to sexualize their behavior or manner of dress. Waitresses and bartenders in states like Georgia, with a minimum wage below the national average were three times as likely to be told how to dress or act in front of customers.
“Today, in one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the country, being subjected to constant forms of sexual harassment has practically become a requirement of employment,” said report author Saru Jayaraman. “Countless young women are introduced to the world of work through the restaurant industry and they go on to be more likely to accept forms of sexual harassment as ‘just part of the job.’”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi