Hospitality workers face unique risks of sexual harassment. This is often due to their work environment, the industry philosophy, and high employee turnover.
Bartenders, servers, cleaners, cooks, hostesses, concierge, and other hospitality workers often face sexual harassment.
Who Can Engage In Sexual Harassment In The Hospitality Industry?
Hospitality workers can face sexual harassment from:
- Managers and Supervisors,
- Co-workers and Colleagues,
- Customers and Patrons,
- Vendors and Contractors,
- Owners, and
- Other individuals.
What Are Examples Of Sexual Harassment In The Hospitality Industry?
In the hospitality business, there are many ways in which sexual harassment may occur. Some examples of hospitality sexual harassment include:
- A hotel guest or co-worker propositions a hotel housekeeper for a sexual favor.
- A restaurant or bar patron makes sexually inappropriate or offensive “jokes,” comments, or innuendo to a bartender or server.
- A hotel guest threatens a hotel worker that they will report the worker to the hotel (or another authority) unless the worker performs a sexual act.
- A restaurant patron grabs or touches a server.
Why Is Sexual Harassment Common In The Hospitality Industry?
Many factors contribute to sexual harassment in the hospitality industry. This includes the “customer is always right” philosophy, late working hours, the presence of alcohol, lack of support and training by employers, high employee turnover, and numerous other factors.
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The Not-So-Fine Print:
We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above. However, every case has its own unique facts. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment lawyer and get advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. It is best, if possible, to establish a relationship with an attorney before a workplace issue turns into a crisis. Employees who have received a verbal or written warning or performance improvement plan should contact counsel now. Ditto for employees who are seeing their doctor for workplace-related stress or anxiety.