Sexual Harassment Still ‘Normal’ in Low-Wage Jobs

Source: Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, March 5, 2014

Since sexual harassment is about power, not sex, it’s not surprising that low-wage women in lousy jobs get a lot of it. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the restaurant industry is the largest source of sexual harassment claims. And the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) finds harassment of women farmworkers to be pervasive.

In a national survey of 4,300 restaurant workers by the worker center Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, more than one in 10 workers reported that they or a co-worker had experienced sexual harassment. ROC says even this creepy figure is likely an undercount….

…ROC reviewed four years of EEOC sexual harassment settlements and verdicts in the restaurant industry and found that cases were filed primarily against well-known chains, including McDonald’s (the worst with 16 percent of the cases), KFC, Sonic, IHOP, Applebee’s, Cracker Barrel, Ruby Tuesday, and Denny’s.

Most often, workers were abused and harassed daily and faced some form of retaliation for complaining….