Sexual Harassment in Hospitality [Infographic]

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Sexual Harassment in the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality workers face the most prevalent sexual harassment of any sector, with unique workplace risks, vulnerable demographics, and low confidence in employer protections.
_______

An Industry Problem

Sexual harassment is far more prevalent in the hospitality sector than other industries

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3 in 10 women in the general workforce have been sexually harassed on the job

9 in 10 women in the hospitality workforce have been sexually harassed on the job
[1] and [2]
_____

Restaurant employees report more incidents than workers in any other hospitality industry.

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Industry: Full-Service Restaurants
Sexual Harassment Claims (1995-2016): 10,057
Average Wage of Workers: $14.22/hr

Industry: Hotels
Sexual Harassment Claims (1995-2016): 1,713
Average Wage of Workers: $16.69/hr

Industry: All Other Accommodations
Sexual Harassment Claims (1995-2016): 1,212
Average Wage of Workers: $14.10/hr
[3]
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Almost all targets of harassment are female:

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83.6% female
16.6% male
[4]
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Forms of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

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Types of harassment experienced by hospitality workers:

85% comments on worker’s body
87% sexist remarks
73% unwanted sexual advances
84% sexual innuendo
69% inappropriate touching
19% sexual assault
[5]

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Sources of harassment reported by female restaurant workers:

By Managers: 66%
By Coworkers: 80%
By Customers: 78%
[6]

________

Vulnerable Workforce

Employees who, like many in hospitality, are young, female, non-native English speakers, and undocumented are statistically more likely to be sexually harassed at work.

[pie graphs]

Low wages
General workforce: $22.51
Hospitality: $15.83

Female gender
General workforce: 47%
Hospitality: 51%

Young median age
General workforce: 42.2 years
Hospitality: 30.3 years

Immigrants/non-native English speakers
General workforce: 19%
Hospitality: 25%

Undocumented workers
General workforce: 5%
Hospitality: 10%
(BLS)

Overuse of alcohol
General workforce: 9%
Hospitality: 15%

[7], [8], and [9]
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Selling the Service

Many customer-facing hospitality workers are encouraged to attract or please customers through dress and behavior.

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Hospitality personnel directors’ opinions on workers’ dress and interactions:

“Dress code is important.” 80%
“Short skirts are allowed or encouraged.” 39%
“Pants are not allowed for female workers.” 38%
“Flirting with customers is allowed.” 39%
“Flirting with the customer is part of the job.” 7%

[10]

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Facing Customers

Hospitality workers like servers and bartenders, who interact with customers, serve alcohol and rely on tips, are at greater risk of sexual harassment from customers.

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Positions at the “front of the house” filled by females

56% of bartenders
70% percent of servers
80% percent of hosts are female

Workers dependent on tips are 3x as likely to experience sexual harassment

Workers serving alcohol are 2x as likely to experience sexual harassment
[11], [12], and [13]
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Facing Consequences

Sexual harassment is seldom reported, due in part to poor outcomes.

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71% of sexual harassment goes unreported

85% who reported felt the incident was not handled properly

75% of workers who report an incident experience retaliation
[15] and [16]
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Policy and Protection

Most hospitality workers don’t feel protected by workplace management and policies.

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Hospitality workers’ opinions on safety and oversight on the job:

“I have felt unsafe, uncomfortable or at risk.” 86%
“I have witnessed others being sexually harassed.” 85%
“My employer does not take sexual harassment seriously.” 48%
“Management won’t or might not deal effectively with a complaint.” 60%
“I don’t know if my employer has an anti-sexual harassment policy.” 77%
[17]

Title VII protects workers against discrimination associated with gender or sexual orientation, including sexual harassment which creates a hostile work environment.

Hospitality employers and management can support workers by:

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Mandate regular anti-sexual harassment training.
Articulate anti-sexual harassment policy, reporting procedures, and consequences.
Treat seriously and investigate incident reports.
Encourage employees to report harassment of coworkers by customers or peers.
_____

Citations:

[1] http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1122-more-than-one-in-three-women-report-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace/
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/24/sexual-harassment-rampant-hospitality-industry-unite-survey-finds
[3] https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/21/16685942/sexual-harassment-industry-service-retail
[4] https://www.eeoc.gov/
[5] https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2017/harassment-in-hospitality/
[6] https://www.scribd.com/document/242133572/The-Glass-Floor-Sexual-Harassment-in-the-Restaurant-Industry
[7] https://www.bls.gov/
[8] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325083240.htm
[9] http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Demographic-trends-illustrate-importance-of-foreig
[10] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.850.778&rep=rep1&type=pdf
[11] https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm
[12] http://rocunited.org/2014/10/new-report-90-female-restaurant-workers-experience-sexual-harassment/
[13] https://daily.sevenfifty.com/confronting-sexual-harassment-in-the-drinks-industry/
[14] https://www.verywellmind.com/how-common-is-female-to-female-sexual-harassment-4134990
[15] https://www.verywellmind.com/how-common-is-female-to-female-sexual-harassment-4134990
[16] https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/10/15/16438750/weinstein-sexual-harassment-facts
[17] http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/sexual-harassment-is-rife-in-hospitality-industry-according-to-preliminary-findings-of-unite-survey/