If your business is in restaurants, retail, supermarkets, hotels or other related service ventures, then there may be a more pressing need for you to establish a clear workplace policy against sexual harassment.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, but now numbers from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which compiled data from 1995 to 2016, revealed that some industries are more prone to harassment than others.
“Some work settings are just more fertile ground for inappropriate behavior,” said Meg Bond, director of the Center for Women and Work at the University of Massachusets, Lowell.
According to the data, 10,057 claims were filed by people working in full-service restaurants alone. The food service industry also led all others in terms of number of claims.
Among the reasons offered were that the wages of restaurant employees were lower. They rely on tips and prefer specific shifts – incentives that employers or even customers can dangle.
Other industries prone to harassment are those where women were a minority – for example, construction.
Across 21 years the EEOC received more than 170,000 harassment claims, 83% of which were from women. The number is likely bigger as many incidents are not reported at all or are resolved internally.
's Sheryl Sandberg
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