Ask yourself: have you ever groped your server, or made inappropriate comments to a bartender when you were drunk? Just think for a second. Maybe you were that server or bartender.

Nine in ten women say they’ve experienced some form of “unwanted, scary sexual behavior in the workplace,” according to a new report published today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United. Do you find this shocking, or think that it’s a depressingly unsurprising stat?

Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of the non-profit restaurant worker’s group, told USA Today,

“Women who have to live off of tips are subjected to the worst kind of sexual harassment.”

The study calls sexual harassment “endemic to the restaurant industry,” and Jayaraman suggests that an increase in paid hourly rate and a phase-out of the tipped minimum wage ($2.13 at federal level) will help reduce harassment.

Here are more industrywide stats from the report:

  • One third of female restaurant workers experienced sexual harassment from customers on at least a weekly basis.
  • Three-quarters of women experienced sexual harassment from co-workers on at least a monthly basis.
  • Two-thirds of women experienced sexual harassment from management on at least a monthly basis.

For the record, half of men in the restaurant industry say they’ve been sexually harassed by a supervisor, manager, or restaurant owner. 

The report included in-person and online interviews with 688 restaurant workers in 39 states. It was conducted May through August, 2014.

[via USA Today, Grub Street]

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