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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Sexual Harassment on Thursday, October 26, 2017.
Sexual Harassment in Restaurants: Now is THE TIME to Report It

A sexual harassment scandal surrounding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has triggered a non-stop outpour of sexual harassment and abuse allegations from women from all walks of life, including the restaurant industry.

At least 25 women have come forward to accuse celebrity chef John Besh and his restaurant group of sexual harassment, encouraging countless women in Long Beach, California and all across the nation to share their scary experiences of sexual harassment and abuse in the kitchen workplace.

Sexual harassment in restaurants is stemming from the toxic kitchen culture that has been around almost forever.

In fact, a 2014 report from the Restaurant Opportunities Center United revealed that nearly 80 percent of female and 70 percent of male restaurant staff experienced some form of sexual harassment from restaurant staff.

Even scarier statistics were provided by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which showed that about 37% of all sexual harassment claims come from restaurant staff.

Whether you work at a restaurant in Long Beach or anywhere else in California, you may become a victim of sexual harassment in a restaurant. Protect your rights and defend yourself from harassers by seeking the legal advice of our sexual harassment attorney at the Law Offices of Kristensen LLP.

Call our Long Beach attorney at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form today. We respect your right to confidentiality and offer you a free initial consultation

Can sexual harassment in restaurants be prevented?

Women, especially waitresses, working at restaurants have experienced sexism since the last century, but does it mean that nothing can be done to prevent sexual harassment and abuse in the kitchen workplace?

Far from it. As hundreds of women motivated by the #MeToo movement have shown in recent weeks, coming forward and reporting sexual harassment is vital to bringing the much-needed change to the male-dominated restaurant industry.

While it may be difficult to cut through the fat layers of those archaic sexist practices still prevalent in the restaurant culture today, it’s not recommended to report sexual harassment alone.

Consult a sexual harassment attorney to learn your rights and protect yourself from potential retaliation from the harasser. Also, if you know that your co-workers have been victims of sexual harassment as well, consider encouraging them to come forward with you.

There is also a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which you most likely signed during the employment process, that you must take into account before reporting sexual harassment in a restaurant. Consult our sexual harassment attorney to review your NDA.

How and to whom report sexual harassment?

Many restaurants don’t even have a human resources department, which is usually the first place victims harassment in the workplace turn to. What should victims of sexual harassment do if there’s no HR department?

In this case, the best place to report sexual harassment in the workplace and start the legal claim is the EEOC. Also, if there is no HR department in a restaurant, there is most likely no sexual harassment training in place, which is required by law.

It’s most likely that such a restaurant doesn’t have EEO policies either, and have never educated its employees on how to report mistreatment and harassment and to whom.

A company that doesn’t comply with anti-sexual harassment laws may be held liable along with the harasser(s). Reporting sexual harassment in the restaurant workplace may be a scary experience, which is why it’s never recommended to do it alone.

Our Long Beach sexual harassment lawyers realize the seriousness and sensitivity of every such claim, which is why we will investigation your claim and represent you in your best interests.

Contact our sexual harassment attorney at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation. Don’t keep silent – if there was ever the right moment to speak out, it’s now (look at how the Weinstein scandal has unfolded).