If you are a woman who has worked in food or drink service, you’ve probably had to deal with sexual harassment. Many male servers have experienced the same, but women definitely bear the brunt.
Unfortunately, the wage structure that most employers use means many employees feel they have to put up with it.
Hasn’t California gotten rid of the reduced wage for tipped workers?
It’s one of the few states that has, but, as you will be aware, earning the legal minimum wage won’t get you far in a city like Los Angeles, so you will still rely heavily on your tips – something that most workers are spared.
It’s 2023. Surely you can call out harassment?
You can, in fact, you’ve always been able to, but now as before, the potential consequences can make it an unattractive option. Calling out a customer’s harassment or failing to smile sweetly at their sexist comments likely means they won’t tip you.
Managers may even encourage you to put up with it
One unhappy customer can cause a lot of damage to a restaurant’s reputation. Hence, some restaurant owners and managers might ignore your complaints about a customer or punish you if you call out the customer and upset them.
At the end of the day, legislators can only do so much. It’s the responsibility of customers to treat you with the respect you deserve and for employers to marshall things and protect employees from harassment. If they don’t, you may need to consider legal action.