There is a culture of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry that has affected many low-wage tipped employees, particularly young women. According to Harvard Business Review, “More sexual harassment claims in the U.S. are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other, where as many as 90% of women reportedly experience some form of sexual harassment. While the industry has had its share of high-profile stories … even more insidious is the routine harassment of service workers by managers, coworkers, and, importantly, customers.”
While many restaurants have attempted to address the problems, restaurant employees point to the culture of customer-correctness that is embraced in the industry. “Many guests don’t expect that their behavior will be questioned; many restaurants don’t want to make a customer uncomfortable by correcting their behavior.”
On Tuesday evening, March 10, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will be hosting a program MeToo in the Restaurant Industry: Protecting and Empowering Tipped Servers where they will discuss the issue of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Founder of Waiterpay.com, Louis Pechman, will be speaking on the panel and sharing his experience as an attorney who has represented restaurant workers for the last 30 years.
If you work in a restaurant and feel you have been a victim of sexual harassment, please reach out to the attorneys at Pechman Law Group to confidentially discuss the issue.