While every workplace should take action against sexual harassment, data shows that sexual harassment prevention training may be especially important in the restaurant industry. Some reasons include the fact that restaurant employees are often young adults who may not know how to respond to harassment or act appropriately at work, the high-pressure nature of the work, the power dynamic in tip-based jobs, and working in close quarters away from public view. For these reasons and others, more and more states are passing legislation requiring all employees to complete sexual harassment prevention training.
How Sexual Harassment Affects Businesses
Not only does sexual harassment prevention training educate and protect vulnerable employees, it can also help protect your business. When sexual harassment is present in the workplace, the business may suffer from:
- Absences: Victims may call off work to avoid interactions, especially during and after they file a complaint.
- Low productivity: Distraction caused by psychological damage, fear of retaliation, gossip, and time spent during internal investigations.
- Turnover: Victims often quit instead of filing a formal complaint. Others may leave in solidarity, or because they don't feel safe.
Sexual harassment claims can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars per instance, even if settled out of court. What's alarming are reports that up to 90% of women and 70% of men in the restaurant industry have experienced sexual harassment at work.
Whether or not your state requires sexual harassment prevention training, new data and trends in legislation are a wake-up call for restaurants. While doing nothing and "letting sleeping dogs lie" may have been the traditional approach to sexual harassment in the work environment in the past, it's clear that restaurant employees and managers need education and protection. Your productivity and profit are at risk if you avoid the issue.
Prevention is Key to Protecting Employees and the Organization
Training is the key to helping everyone on your team know how to act appropriately and how to handle sexual harassment. ServSafe Workplace’s Sexual Harassment Prevention for the Restaurant Industry course is specifically designed for the restaurant industry and includes learning scenarios typical of what employees and managers might encounter in real life. The course even includes information to help bystanders—those who may witness sexual harassment—to respond appropriately and effectively to inappropriate workplace behavior.
More importantly, it is part of the National Restaurant Association’s commitment to you and to furthering the conversation post #metoo. These training programs help you and the industry promote a culture of inclusivity and respect—and show your authentic commitment to preventing sexual harassment in your establishment.
Don't wait until your state mandates this training. Schedule your employees for ServSafe Workplace’s sexual harassment prevention training and show your commitment to a culture of respect.
Regulations in Your State
For more information on requirements on your state's sexual harassment prevention training regulations, and whether the ServSafe Workplace product meets the requirements, click here.