Unfortunately, harassment is still a significant, and sometimes frequent, occurrence in the workplace.
A report by RocUnited, an organization that seeks to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce, found that both men and women experience high rates of harassment while on the clock. For example, two-thirds of females and half of males surveyed reported incidences of sexual harassment directed at them from either a restaurant owner, manager, or supervisor.
Here are some tips to prevent harassment in your restaurant.
Types of harassment
When harassment is mentioned, many people jump immediately to sexual harassment. However, there are actually several different ways that harassment can transpire.
A more complete definition of harassment is unwanted verbal or physical behavior regarding:
- Gender Identity
- Skin Color
- Sexual Orientation
- Physical or Mental Disability
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines harassment as “unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.”
The EEOC further says that harassment becomes unlawful where:
- Enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or
- The conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Preventing harassment in the workplace can be challenging, but it’s imperative that management leads by example. Your employees need to know that their best interests are a priority and that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect them. You need to be very clear that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.