Sexual harassment and the restaurant industry: 3 lessons from recent cases

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | sexual harassment |

Restaurants throughout Southern California are getting the wrong kind of media attention. Story after story highlights restaurant workers who are standing up and fighting back after experiencing sexual harassment. In one example, Swami’s Café and Honey’s Bistro owners face allegations of allowing a manager to inappropriately touch female employees and make sexual comments. The victims state that if they spoke up, they were fired or removed from the work schedule. In another, victims state that they were subject to repeat acts of sexual misconduct from supervisors at the Los Angeles Nobu restaurant.

What is sexual harassment?

The term is commonly used, but what does it mean? When it comes to a legal claim, sexual harassment within the workplace generally includes verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. This can include requests for sexual favors or other unwelcome advances.

It does take more than teasing to qualify as illegal sexual harassment. Harassment is an illegal act when it is frequent enough to create a hostile work environment and results in adverse employment decisions like termination of employment or a demotion.

Why are these cases important?

The abovementioned cases are important because they provide valuable lessons for others in a similar situation. These include:

  1. Solidarity. If you are the victim of sexual harassment within the restaurant industry, know that you are not alone.
  2. Responsibility. These lawsuits work to hold the offenders responsible in several ways, including providing compensation to their victims.
  3. Service. It takes bravery to stand up and fight when the victim of sexual harassment within the workplace. Know that this bravery helps to deter wrongdoers from treating other workers the same way. Your bravery in standing up against this form of harassment can help make your community a better place to work.

If you are the victim of sexual harassment, know that you have rights. Know that you can fight back. An attorney experienced in this area of employment law can review your case and discuss your options for legal remedies.