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Restaurant workers susceptible to sexual harassment in Florida

Many Florida residents may go out to restaurants to have an enjoyable meal and spend time with their friends and family. However, for many workers in the restaurant industry, going to their places of employment may not be enjoyable. Restaurant workers are at a considerable risk of facing sexual harassment while on the job, and a recent study shed some unsettling light on the situation.

The study indicated that such harassment in the restaurant industry has apparently become "normalized." This label apparently means that instances of harassment, including inappropriate comments, touching and other gestures, are not uncommon for workers in this industry. Claims from women in the restaurant industry make up 35 percent of the claims received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Individuals who receive tips as part of their wages, such as waiters and waitresses, are especially susceptible to facing such harassment. Because a considerable amount of their wages is earned from tips, they may even decline to report such inappropriate behavior due to fear of losing tips and not making as much money. Both men and woman face harassment from management, co-workers and customers.

Sexual harassment is a very serious matter, and individuals should not feel as if they have to contend with such treatment in order to keep their wages. Florida restaurant workers who have been harassed on the job may wish to consider their legal options, if reporting the actions to superiors does not garner effective results. Earning a wage should not mean that a person's comfort in the workplace should be sacrificed.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Study blasts restaurant industry over 'normalized' sexual harassment", Melissa McCart, Oct. 8, 2014

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