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Restaurant industry suffers from rampant sexual harassment

While the following story is a few months old, the topic and the issue that it brings up is important at any time. A report by The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Forward Together found that sexual harassment is basically part of the job for people in the restaurant industry. It's a damning report, and it reveals one statistic that may not be as stunning as it is disturbing: 35 percent of sexual harassment claims that are made to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission are from women in the restaurant industry. 

All forms of sexual harassment were discovered in the study, including teasing and prying questions about sexual topics, social media behavior, and physical behaviors that including patting, groping and sexual assault.

This statistic and this study may surprise you, but there are so many people that work in the industry that the "surprise" of this figure needs to be replaced with "outrage." People who are subjected to this behavior in a professional atmosphere can be embarrassed to the point that they don't feel comfortable at work anymore. They risk ostracization. The behavior can even be used against them to force them to perform sexual acts, lest they be punished for not complying.

None of this is acceptable, and anyone who is subjected to sexual harassment at work -- regardless of their industry -- needs to get legal help right away. Not just to help them with any sexual harassment lawsuit they pursue, but to protect themselves from a wrongful termination or retaliation.

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

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