You may not think about it when you are in a restaurant, but the life of a waitress can be both grueling and frustrating. After all, dealing with hungry people is not always easy. They can be selfish, temperamental and downright mean. Even the comedy “Two Broke Girls” puts the difficult situations waitresses must deal with in a comedic light. So most people are oblivious to what waitresses must deal with on a regular basis, especially widespread sexual harassment.
A study produced by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (RECUNITED), found that waitresses experience sexual harassment more frequently compared to women in other industries. Given how waitresses are usually not paid well and often do not speak up for themselves (out of fear of retaliation), it is unfortunate, and yet not surprising, that so many women have to deal with harassment.
Nevertheless, women should not have to endure harassment in the workplace in order to make ends meet. More importantly, employers have a continuing duty to prevent or address such behavior. In other words, if an employer knows about sexual harassment complaints or deviant behavior against female employees, the employer is required to take reasonable steps to listen to the complaints and stop (or punish) the behavior. If an employer fails to do these things, it could be held liable.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you of your rights and options.
The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice.