Sexual harassment can disrupt the workplace and cause lasting problems for everyone involved. The pressures and pace in the hospitality industry often lead to great camaraderie amongst staff. But the flip side to that is an informality that allows inappropriate behavior to go unchecked. When you add the element of dealing with customers—some who have been drinking—to the mix, there is great potential for inappropriate behavior, which could lead to employer liability. By the end of this course, supervisors and employees should be able to identify ways in which the unique employment setting found in restaurant and bars leads to unique challenges as well as recognize, prevent, and respond to sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior when it does happen.
Why “Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response for Illinois Supervisors/Employees: Restaurants and Bars (Spanish)” Matters:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data on sexual harassment claims show that almost 37 percent of all sexual harassment charges filed with the agency come from the hospitality industry— specifically from the accommodations and restaurant sectors—by far, the most of any industry sector. Further, the state of Illinois requires additional training for employees working in restaurants and bars.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Illinois’s Human Rights Act, or IHRA, prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Employers must prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and, should harassment occur, take steps to correct it and prevent it from recurring.
- Always respond promptly and effectively to any sexual harassment you observe or that is reported to you.
- Anyone at any level in the organization can commit sexual harassment or be harassed.
- Employers can be liable for quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment.