Sexual harassment in the service industry is uncomfortable, and many people feel oppressive and threatening. If you have ever been subject to intimidating and indecent behaviors at your workplace in a store, hotel, or restaurant, you likely know how it feels. Recently, sexual harassment in these industries has been outlined as a growing issue amongst service workers. When you find yourself in a similar situation, you want to seek legal help from a well-trained and experienced attorney in California.
At Sex Crimes Attorney, we understand you are undergoing mental and psychological suffering. We have handled many cases from our clients facing sexual harassment in hospitality, retail, food service, among other service industries. We also understand your job is essential as it provides you with a steady income to care for your daily life. Therefore do not hesitate to contact our attorneys as soon as possible.
What is the Legal Meaning of Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment and sexual assault occur in almost all industries in the US. However, the severity of the crimes in service industries is higher. This is usually attributed to the industry's corporate governance hierarchy structure, where the authoritative figures and bosses take advantage of their positions. The cases occur in retail trade, restaurant industry, coffee shops, food industries, hotels, and many others providing retail and hospitality services.
The authoritative figures will often stress the workers by arguing their employment status will depend on their submission for sexual activities. Otherwise, the bosses will terminate their jobs. In many cases, those who reject the sexual submission to the authoritative figures find themselves in hostile working conditions.
The recent studies indicate around two-thirds, and approximately half of the men in service industries experience sexual abuse from their managers, supervisors, or business owners. The cases usually occur primarily due to imbalances in power. Due to this, sexual assault has become a method for management to develop a dependent workforce.
The supervisors, owners, bosses, and managers all play a significant role in determining the norms of workstation culture, involving which actions are acceptable and which ones are non-accepted. Since employees in restaurants and hotels have experienced sexual abuse from their bosses, there is a need to develop a strategy to help prevent these behaviors at the workplace. Therefore when you find yourself in a similar situation, you should seek legal help from a competent sex crime attorney. The attorney will guide you throughout the legal process. Do not fear discussing the whole situation with your attorney.
Types of Sexual Harassment
There are two primary forms of sexual harassment. They are:
Quid Pro Quo
Its a form of sexual harassment which occurs when a supervisor or employer makes unwanted sexual advances towards the workers/employees. Under this form of sexual assault, the perpetrator aims at giving out favor in exchange for sexual activities to the employees.
Hostile Work Environment
Other forms of sexual assault do not include proposing sexual activities as a condition for advancements or employment. They have innuendos and sexual advances. As per EEOC, it's illegal to provide a working environment to your hostile, abusive, or intimidating workers. Therefore if you are a victim of any of the above types of sexual assault, you need to discuss the matter with your attorney.
The Statistics of Sexual Harassment in Service Industries
The Bloomberg law has stated that service industry employees filed 7500 sexual assault claims in America. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this increased 14% in the financial year 2017. Again, a report from the Guardian reported that around 89% of hospitality employees, like restaurant waitresses hotel employees, reported high cases of sexual abuse. More than half of these harassment cases were from customers, while their managers sexually harassed a quarter.
However, many of these cases usually go unreported. It indicates that the initial rates of sexual abuse cases are much higher than thought. The EEOC has estimated that around 75% of all cases of workstations go unreported. It's important to note that many people endure harassment because of job insecurity and financial needs. The majority of these workers are minorities and immigrants who feel powerless under their supervisor's abuse.
There might also be a lack of security personnel in industries and hotel premises. Sexual abuse may occur more often in hospitality venues as the employees work for many unusual hours, serve liquor, have a more festive, uncontrolled atmosphere, and require specific codes that may differ from men. As a result, the employees may become more susceptible to suggestive or advances by managers or customers.
As per the glass floor survey, more women experience sexual abuse from owners than men. Around 86% of women reported sexual abuse from management, while only 75% of men reported similar cases. It's only 25% and 14% of men and women who did not experience these actions from the management.
A third of women reported cases of being pinched and touched by management. Again, approximately 20% of these women were pressured to go on a date with their managers. 36% of the women receive gestures and suggestions of sex from their management compared to approximately 25% of men.10% of men. This number comprises the victims re pressurized for dates compared to 20% of the women. As per the research, around 29% of the women experience being cornered, leaned over, touched, or pinched in unwanted ways.
Many women believe that they will face negative consequences, public humiliation, job termination, or financial losses when they expose or report sexual harassment from customers or management. Approximately 63% of women ignore the behavior, while 13% face pressure to go along with the behavior.
Among all the women who experience sexual abuse from customers and management, around 34% believe their shifts may worsen, Around 20% believe they will not receive a job promotion or increase. In comparison, 11% believe they will lose their jobs when they confront similar cases. Based on the above statistics, women are the most affected gender by sexual harassment in the service industry. So, if you are one of the victims, you don't need to keep the matter a secret anymore. Speak out with your attorney and seek the compensation you are undergoing through
How to Report Sexual Assault in California
After facing sexual harassment in the service industry, you have many options to do. You might choose to report the incident to the law enforcement officers. Remember, the best decision you make will depend on several factors. It recommended you seek legal help from your sex attorney. The following steps will help you:
Go to the Police Officers
You can report your incident to the police station in the critical areas. One of the main elements of sexual assault is your conduct. Therefore the crime is an offense in California. When it comes to sexual harassment at work, you might go straight to the police and report the incident. If you are mentally prepared, go ahead and file a police report. Seek advice from your attorney if possible before you report the case.
Report the Incident in Accordance to Your Industry Policies
Many Industries and companies in California have rules and policies for reporting sexual harassment. Therefore you need to check your paperwork, the handbook you obtained during onboarding, and the company's portal. In many cases, it's good to note that the court will not hold your employer responsible unless the employer is aware of the act. It means if you did not tell the employer, they might argue they never knew whether the action was taking place.
Your company rules and regulations may direct you to report the case to the supervisor or someone in the supervisory chain of command. When the industry is decentralized or large, the first thing to do may include filling out online forms. When you report the incident to someone in the chain of command, they must inform HR.
However, you may decide to seek legal help at some times. For example, it's next to impossible to report the case to the supervisor when he is the harasser. You only need to keep a documentary of the incident. Have a copy of the complaint record records of whoever you made a complaint to. By doing so, the company will not claim you did not say anything.
In some cases, legal experts recommend you ask for a timeline from your industry for the company to investigate your case and issue feedback. Although they may not share all the details of their findings, they will keep you updated on your case. The industry management doesn't necessarily need to fire the perpetrators or punish them according to your will; they must aim at stopping the occurrences of similar cases of harassment.
Speak to Your Union
When you are an active member of your union, you need to speak to the representatives. The representatives will go between you and your industry if you don't feel comfortable speaking directly with your harasser. Also, the union will play a significant role in reporting the case. Remember, however, when the alleged harasser is a group member, they will also advocate for them. It then recommended you hire your sex crime attorney to help fight your case.
File a Claim with a Local Agency
You may decide to file a claim with your local agency at any point. The law requires you do so before filing a lawsuit relating to sexual assault under federal rules and laws. You must remember there are deadlines for doing all these. The state law requires you to file the claim within six months from the day of the incident.
After filing the claim, the responsible agency will investigate and determine the cause of the incident. When the agency discovers there is no cause of the offense, they will give you a note of the right to sue by yourself. However, when the body finds a cause, it will attempt to solve the case.
File a Lawsuit
When the court grants you the right to file a lawsuit, you must do so within three months. Ensure you discuss with your attorney the next step to take. Remember filing a lawsuit might be a challenging process. You should be well prepared and know the court will review certain information. For instance, the court will review your medical records when you suffer emotional distress.
The Service Industries with the most Sexual Harassment Cases in California
Service industry workers in California experience sexual harassment and sexual abuse for various reasons. For example, the following are the service industries with much sexual harassment:
Food and Accommodation Services
According to America employment opportunity commission data, the food and accommodation service industry comprises 14.23% of sexual harassment claims. This is the most reported case of sexual abuse within all industries. Among the contributing factors is subminimum wages that occur because the employees rely on tips. Both non-tipped and tipped workers show subminimum wages shape the general restaurant environment. Therefore the industry workers in this category report higher cases of sexual harassment.
The research concluded that the sexualized atmosphere that restaurant employees experience is amplified and reflected by management policies that require women to wear uniforms that reveal them. The restaurant employees reporting sexual assault cases had a uniform policy. Around 40% of these employees felt uncomfortable with these company uniforms.
The manufacturing industry is another service industry with many sexual harassment cases after retail and hotels. Around 11.72% of sexual assault cases come from the manufacturing sector in all the cases reported. Since many manufacturing jobs like craft workers and machinists are men-dominated, the women joining this group are seen as outsiders and targets for sexual assault.
Retail is the second industry with many cases of sexual abuse. It comprises about 13.44% of all sexual assault claims. The high percentage of sexual abuse is associated with low wages and retail vulnerability. Therefore when you face sexual assault under this category, you want legal help.
Social Assistance and Healthcare
Notably, the social assistance and health care industry accounted for around 11.48% of workstation sexual abuse cases. The main reason behind this is the industry is majorly dominated by women, especially women of color, just like in the retail and service industries. When you suffer sexual harassment in any of the above industries, you want to report the case to the chain of authorities or the local agency.
Sexual Assault Costs to Industries
Sexual assault can lead to substantial costs to the industry, including formal charges of assault, legal costs, turnover costs, and lower productivity because of lower commitment, lower motivation, and increased absence. The company costs of sexual assault are high. According to a study conducted in 1988, the estimated costs of sexual assault, $250 million, were reported from the army. The following is a discussion of the costs experienced in service industries sexual harassment:
The increase in the number of sexual harassment indicates the possibility of higher legal costs to tolerate harassment from employers. Usually, the total payout in the settlement is confidential, meaning legal expenses are challenging to estimate. The EEOC, which is responsible for publishing financial settlements on behalf of workers, in the financial year 2017 it gained $46.3 million linked with benefits for workers facing sexual harassment.
Increased Rate of Absenteeism
A survey in 2010 conducted discovered the people harassed or sexually abused in the prior year were 1.7 likely to miss their work for more than two weeks than those who did not face sexual assault. Also, the survey found that one of around six people facing sexual harassment took annual or sick leave after the harassment.
Many types of research show that sexual abuse can result in increased turnover. The researchers have also found that the relationship between women's career attainment and sexual harassment was six times likely for nontargets to change their jobs. The costs linked with workers turnover involve most significant economic expenses than the costs related to litigation. To replace an employee is also expensive.
Its true workplace-related sexual abuse is associated with less commitment reduced job satisfaction and motivation. Sexual abuse affects the targets, witnesses, and employees who hear about the harassment cases. Also, the crime affects the team performance generally.
What are the Recommendations for Addressing Sexual Harassment in Workplace?
One of the critical elements to address workplace harassment is training and developing new tools. By doing so, the employees will be much safer from acts of sexual harassment and increase their productivity. The EEOC has also recommended the following interventions to help prevent the higher number of sexual harassment cases at the workplace:
The workers should assess to identify the potential risk factors linked with sexual abuse. They should also engage in climatic surveys to help assess the extent to which sexual abuse is an issue within their industry.
The employers must ensure the punishment and discipline for perpetrators are consistent, prompt, and proportionate with the nature of the case.
Employers should maintain and adopt comprehensive anti-harassment rules and policies, communicate these policies to the employees frequently, offer a variety of reporting steps, and investigate the cases arising from their employees.
The employer should introduce bystander intervention training and civility training at the workplace. They should also train supervisors and middle-management to handle cases involving sexual harassment. The researchers should also assess the effectiveness of workplace training on reducing the level of sexual abuse at the workplace.
All the labor unions should make sure their reporting systems meet similar standards with the employer's systems.
The federal government also has the responsibility to engage in further research, including fielding and developing new polls. They should also add questions to the current survey questions about workplace sexual harassment through bodies like Census Bureau, among others.
The Effects of Sexual Abuse on the Individual
An individual might be affected by sexual assault in various ways like finances opportunities to exceed in career, physical and mental health as discussed below:
Effects on Physical and Mental Health
Several studies prove sexual assault has numerous effects on mental health. Harassment may result in depression. One research showed women suffering from sexual abuse had depression. Even when less severe and infrequent, sexual harassment can significantly negatively affect work behavior and psychological well-being. Apart from mental issues, many types of research have shown higher risks of long-term physical problems with sexual assault.
Sexual harassment may also result in potential workplace accidents when the employees are left distracted while performing dangerous jobs.
Reduced Chances for on the Job Advancement and Learning
In many jobs, becoming a skilled employee and advancing your profession will depend on mentorship and instruction from the more experienced workers. Sexual harassment will restrict women from that kind of learning advancement. For women working in engineering, medicine, and sciences, recent research found that sexual harassment affects advancement in their careers.
Unemployment, Forced Job Change and Abandonment of Good Careers
Unemployment is a significant concern to those women who feel they must engage in sexual activities with their managers to secure the job—the financial costs of harassment change based on the career trajectories and target occupations. As a result, the well well occupation is at risk of losing more wages than other sectors due to higher numbers of sexual abuse. The effect of harassment is great no matter the wages involved.
Contact a Sex Crime Attorney Near Me
As mentioned above, service industry workers are generally expected to perform their duties with a smile on their face and in a friendly way. In return, many customers leave a tip in appreciation. That's why many service industry workers end up facing sexual assault from both the management and the customers. Therefore if you face sexual harassment in your service industry, you want to report the incident. However, to tell the incident, you will probably require the services of an attorney.
At Sex Crimes Attorney, we have helped countless people in your position protect their jobs and recover compensation. So, if you are in California, do not fail to call us. Contact us at 888-666-8480 and we will start working on your case as soon as possible.