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Sexual harassment at fast food workplaces

Fast food workers, like all employees, deserve a safe and respectful work environment. Unfortunately though, some such workers are denied such an environment through being exposed to sexual harassment.

It appears that sexual harassment might be a particularly prevalent problem in the fast food industry. For example, data from Hart Research Associates points to such harassment being experienced by 40 percent of female fast food workers.

Examples of sexual harassment fast food workers might experience include:

  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Graphic gestures
  • Being shown graphic pictures
  • Unwanted physical advances

Why might such conduct be so common in fast food environments?

For one, there are certain things that may make fast food workers particularly vulnerable to harassment. Many such workers are very young and relatively new to the working world. So, they may be more likely to be unsure of their rights and of what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace. Also, some fast food workers might have very few other options for jobs. This may lead them to be hesitant to report harassment they experience, for fear of what impacts this might have on their employment.

Another thing that may have impacts on the prevalence of sexual harassment at fast food restaurants is the management staff at such workplaces. Fast food managers also tend to be on the young side. This can raise questions as to whether such managers sometimes have a lack of experience or preparation that might get in the way of them taking proper steps to prevent sexual harassment from taking hold in the workplace. There are also questions as whether such managers get enough training on sexual harassment prevention.

What do you think fast food restaurants here in California should be doing to keep sexual harassment out of their workplaces?

When fast food workers are subjected to sexual harassment, it is important that they know their rights and their options for fighting against the wrong done to them. So, they may want to promptly talk about their situation with a skilled employee rights attorney.

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It can be hard to take the first steps in these cases when your livelihood is at stake, but know that you have rights available to you. Let us help you determine what you can do to bring an end to your employer's unlawful behavior.