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Sexual harassment is common in restaurant and fast food industry

The ability to multi-task, meet the needs of customers and do it all with a happy face is a common need in the restaurant and fast food industry. Waiters and servers are often the most influential ones the customer will see when they visit, meaning you may be the deciding factor in if they come back. To be successful at your job, you must have confidence, take initiative and be comfortable in your workplace. Unfortunately, in the fast food and restaurant industry, sexual harassment is a common problem, leaving workers in uncomfortable and even threatening situations when they need to keep their jobs.

Sexual harassment is not just referencing a direct attempt to make physical contact or an ultimatum given for a promotion or raise in exchange for sexual favors. It can be an inappropriate joke or common banter that goes on between employees.

Is it just a game?

Many blow off inappropriate comments, sexual innuendo and inappropriate touching as just part of the game, or simply co-workers teasing each other, but the problem may go much deeper than that.

A recent report of a study done with 688 workers shows that over half of male workers and two-thirds of women workers experienced some type of sexual harassment from the management. 70 percent of men and 80 percent of women dealt with harassment from a co-worker, while 80 percent of women and 55 perfect of men dealt with harassment from a customer. 52 percent of women surveyed said they deal with management harassment on a weekly basis, while 66 percent said they deal with it on a monthly basis.

The dangers of letting it be normal

As both women and men are subjected to harassment regularly and at an alarming rate in the service industry, the behaviors risk becoming a norm rather than an aberration. The food industry also employs many undocumented workers who may fear speaking out when harassed. The dangers of not reporting these incidents are many, including the fact that other employees begin to feel the behavior is normal and they should be subjected to it also. Sexual jokes or inappropriate touching, pictures with sexual content and propositioning for sexual acts are all common sexually harassing behaviors that should be reported and dealt with.

No matter what industry you work in, you have the right to do your job in a harassment-free environment. If you fear you are being harassed at work and are not sure where to turn, seek the advice of an attorney immediately.

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