Whether you got your job at a Florida restaurant for experience, as a way to make ends meet or out of sheer necessity for income, you undoubtedly appreciate the fact that you have a steady job and are able to work. What you certainly do not appreciate, however, is the way that management, coworkers or even customers can act toward you, particularly when it comes to inappropriate behaviors.
As a restaurant worker, you may have anticipated possibly facing sexual harassment on the job because it remains prevalent in this industry. In fact, in 2018, claims of such harassment stemmed from the restaurant industry in higher numbers than any other industry.
Is the problem getting better?
Though more people are coming forward to report sexual harassment on the job, the problem is continuing to worsen. In fact, many restaurant workers have reported that since the COVID-19 pandemic, unwanted sexual comments and sexual harassment has increased. This only adds to the difficulties they face while trying to enforce new safety protocols. In many cases, their efforts to enforce new rules and policies are met with hostility and harassment from patrons.
According to reports, 41% of restaurant workers indicated that they saw a noticeable difference in the frequency of harassing actions and comments. Another 25% stated that they felt that a significant difference in frequency had taken place.
Whether sexual harassment can stem from management, employees, customers or other outside parties, employers have a responsibility to try to stop such harassment in the workplace. Some steps that employers could take include implementing training to recognize and prevent harassment and allowing employees to work as a team of two in efforts to prevent harassment from customers.
Unfortunately, policies and training may not always prevent harassment, and in some cases, employers may not act appropriately when it comes to handling employee complaints about being the victims of such actions. If you have faced sexual harassment while carrying out duties relating to your restaurant job, you undoubtedly want to see justice.
What can you do?
If you report sexual harassment to your employer and see no efforts made to address the issue or feel that the efforts taken were not enough, you may have reason to enforce your legal rights as an employee. The law protects you from sexual harassment at work, and if your employer does not follow the law, you may have reason to take legal action.