The Restaurant Opportunities Center United and Forward Together have put out a new report that shows some discouraging statistics about women working in the restaurant industry. They report that nine out of ten women that work in a restaurant experience some type of s*xual harassment while on the job, some at least once per week. Out of these numbers, two-thirds of women are harassed by their bosses and 80% are harassed by their coworkers. Those who work for tips as opposed to just an hourly wage are twice as likely to experience the harassment, over 78% say that they are harassed by customers. They are often times asked to wear skimpy uniforms that show more than they would care to show so that they will make better tips and bring in more business. Ninety percent of women who experience s*xual harassment in the workplace are bothered by what the customers do to them while they are working.
One of the biggest problems with harassment in the workplace is that the person who is being harassed is too afraid to say anything, especially if their boss is the one harassing them. They don’t want to lose their jobs so instead they suffer in silence while the harassment continues. This should not be a way of life no matter what industry you work in. Women that work in a restaurant and earn tips often do nothing about the harassment because the tips are where they make most of their money as their hourly wages are next to nothing. If they speak up about the harassment or defend themselves to the customer their tips will most likely shrink.
The Equal Employee Opportunities Commission reports that 35% of all harassment claims that are filed come from women in the restaurant industry. That is just the women who actually file the claims. Think about how much higher that number would be if everyone reported the harassment they were experiencing. In the study by Forward Together and Restaurant Opportunities Center United harassment is defined as anything from inappropriate jokes or language to touching, leering, and groping.