How to Prevent Harassment in Hospitality

How to Prevent Harassment in Hospitality | Work Shield Blog

Harassment and misconduct can permeate any industry. From automotive to insurance, employers must be proactive in mitigating toxicity at work. While there is a risk of unwanted behavior in all workplaces, the hospitality workforce is experiencing staggering reports of sexual harassment. For instance, more than 70% of female restaurant employees have been sexually harassed. Additionally, half of female employees in this industry experience sexual harassment on a weekly basis. 

Last year, we reported on how one national restaurant management company partnered with Work Shield to implement drastic improvements for its team. Before Work Shield, the company filed at least two EEOC claims annually, equaling over $300,000 in legal and settlement costs. Following the partnership with Work Shield, the company experienced zero EEOC claims and associated legal fees. Today, we are highlighting why it’s still crucial for restaurants to understand how to prevent harassment and how Work Shield is the solution.

Why the hospitality sector is still a target for workplace harassment.

A new study found that in addition to being dependent on tipped wages, the requirement to appear friendly and deliver “service with a smile” is a breeding ground for a culture of sexual harassment. This study, which originated from a team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame, Penn State University and the Emlyon Business School in France, is reportedly the first to uncover a correlation between tipping and sexual harassment. Certainly, these findings would extend beyond restaurants and into other hospitality businesses where tipping is the norm. Although working for tips and being required to appear pleasant may be harmless on their own, the combination of the two is said to create a power differential that can lead to harassment. 

How Work Shield is the solution for harassment in the restaurant industry.

At Work Shield we understand the need for a solution to hostile hospitality work environments. In the restaurant industry alone, 59% of all workers experienced sexist behavior, 64% of tipped workers witnessed denigrating terms toward women, and 17% of all workers were exposed to sexually assaultive behavior. It’s time to say enough. It’s time to ensure your employees feel valued and are truly heard. Now is the time to implement the solution to mitigate workplace misconduct and create safer spaces for those in the hospitality industry who are working for tips and being subjected to hostile environments. Work Shield’s comprehensive solution provides safe and secure reporting, investigations conducted by Work Shield-certified legal professionals, and resolution recommendations. 

From sexist remarks to assaultive behavior, women restaurant workers are experiencing harassment at a higher percentage of any industry reporting sexual harassment statistics. As hospitality employees continue working for tips and striving to provide pleasant customer service, the risk of workplace misconduct will remain unless a proven solution is implemented. Work Shield is the proven solution for those in hospitality who desire a safer, more inclusive, toxic-free workplace. 

Your employees are serving your customers – how will you serve them

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