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Study: Restaurant workers at increased risk of sexual harassment

While many forms of harassment are prevalent in Minnesota, sexual harassment is one of the largest problems people face at work. At Neaton & Puklich P.L.L.P, our staff often encounter people who have been asked for sexual favors in return for promotions, experience unwanted touching or who are subjected to offensive jokes or comments, all while on the job.

Sexual harassment is a problem that transcends industries and class, yet some people may be more likely to experience the issue than others. According to Medical Daily, a recent study found that employees within the restaurant industry are more likely than any others to become the victims of sexually harassing behavior. The study, entitled “The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry,” reported that while servers of both sexes could expect to be victims, 80 percent of female workers who took part in the study disclosed that they had experienced at least one type of sexual harassment while at work.

The study’s researchers believe that one of the reasons the industry may be rife with the problem is the tip-based system that is common in the U.S. In most states, tipped workers are only guaranteed the federal minimum wage of $2.13. Since the majority of these workers’ wages come from their tips, they may be encouraged to interact with customers in ways that put that at risk, simply so they can generate more income.

No matter what industry it occurs in, sexual harassment should never be ignored. For more information on this subject, visit our web page. 

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