• Finley Employment Law

Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry

Updated: Aug 7


A recent study demonstrates that sexual harassment is widespread in the restaurant industry, especially for restaurant workers who rely on tips (or “tipped workers”). For instance, according to “The Tipping Point: How the Subminimum Wage Keeps Incomes Low and Harassment High” (March 2021):


1. “Tipped workers who receive a subminimum wage – this occurs in 4 out of 5 states – experience sexual harassment at a rate far higher than their non-tipped counterparts.” (Id. at 2.)


2. Subsequent to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant workers “report higher rates of sexual harassment from customers demanding they remove their masks to judge whether they deserve tips.” (Id. at 4.)


3. “71% of women restaurant workers had been harassed at least once during their time in the industry[,]" and “[t]his percentage is the highest of any industry reporting statistics on sexual harassment.” (Id. at 7.)


4. “[T]ipped workers were significantly more likely to have been harassed than their non-tipped counterparts – over three quarters versus over half (76% versus 52%).” (Id.)


5. “[A]t least 1 out of 5 (21%) left their jobs in response to sexual harassment.” (Id. at 14.)


6. “One of the most common forms of retribution [for reporting sexual harassment] experienced by women…was economic. These women reported having their hours cut or working longer than usual, performing other coworkers’ duties, and being given shifts that are known for being slow because they had complained about being sexually harassed.” (Id. at 18.)


Click here to read the full study.


If you have questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, call ((916) 612-0326) or email (contact@finleyemplaw.com) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Concord.


The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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