As Hollywood’s casting couch predators are exposed in the media, and scandals involving politicians make headlines, it is neither entertainment nor politics that involve the highest harassment risks for employees.
According to researchers from the Center for American Progress, people who work at bars, cafes, and stores are the most likely to be sexually harassed. This type of behavior always involves a power play, and working class people appear to be more exposed than those in high-paying positions.
Data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, spanning a decade of sexual harassment claims has revealed that the podium of worst industries for the practice is very different than what most people may imagine.
Industries With The Highest Number of Sexual Harassment Claims 2005-2015
1. Accommodation and food services
With low wages and a high percentage of illegal immigrants; restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafeterias have seen employees file three-times more complaints than higher paying industries like finance and insurance.
Women appear to be at the highest risk. A 2014 Restaurant Opportunities Center survey revealed that nine in every ten female restaurant workers had encountered some form of come-on from supervisors or customers. For half of those workers, the incidents took place on a weekly basis.
Another commonly low-wage sector, retail allows employers to hire people without many special qualifications, who can be easily replaced if they do not respond well to a culture of harassment.
With four times more male than female workers, this industry is hardly heard of in the news coverage of workplace sexual harassment. Data reveals that the majority male population and reigning culture turn many factories into unsafe places for women.
Unfortunately, the government estimates that less than 10 percent of sexual harassment victims ever file a complaint. One of the factors to explain this is the shocking rate of retaliation reported by those who have complained. Between 2005 and 2015, three in every four victims reported having endured some form of retaliation.
The media pays attention to sexual harassment when the culprits are famous, when people can become indignant about having worshipped their beloved stars without knowing they had a hidden dark side. But women in America are enduring harassment every day, in many industries, where there are no cameras and no microphones.
Women sometimes do not come forward because they are certain they are going to get fired. What happens when a low-wage female waitress is harassed by a regular customer who spends a lot of money at her place of work? In most cases, women just have to put up with it, because they cannot afford to lose their jobs.
The same is true, even more dramatically, when it comes to harassment from supervisors.
The likes of Harvey Weinstein may well be making headlines and losing their prominent positions in the entertainment industry, but there is a kind of silent sexual harassment that is rampant in America, and there is still a lot to be done.
If you have been a victim, contacting an attorney specialized in harassment claims is the best way to ensure confidentiality, prevent retaliation, and secure the compensation you may be entitled to if you suffered emotional trauma, if you lost your job, or were otherwise financially or emotionally affected.
Our attorneys have reached substantial settlements in cases of workplace sexual harassment in a variety of industries. Learn Your Rights in a No-Cost Attorney Consult 888.249.6944 OR CONNECT ONLINE