The Women’s Law Project proudly supports the Coalition for Restaurant and Safety Health (CRSH), a Philadelphia-based worker-led effort to eliminate sexual harassment in the restaurant industry.
CRSH provides education through intersectional sexual harassment prevention training and leadership development, legal guidance on implementing anti-harassment policies, and resources on how workers can build solidarity and organize their workplaces.
This week, CRSH released a long-awaited report that revealed an epidemic of harassment facing restaurant workers in Philadelphia and outlined recommendations to address the problem.
The survey was concluded just before COVID-19 caused widespread labor disruptions in the restaurant industry. However, the authors emphasize that even if indoor dining is closed today in our city, workers still experience harassment in outdoor dining settings and while working in restaurants that serve takeout. The culture of harassment persists when jobs are scarce.
Some of the report findings include:
- 80% of workers reported that someone at work had shared sexual and inappropriate content with them, such as stories, pictures, or jokes.
- 80% said someone at work had made offensive personal remarks about their appearance, body, or sexual activities.
- 60% said that someone at work had continued to ask them out, even when they said “no” and
- 62% of all respondents have had someone touch or try to touch them in an unwelcome way.
Researchers found employers had very few mechanisms in place to enable workers to address harassment. The authors recommend several courses of action including:
- Pennsylvania should amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and eliminate the subminimum wage (sometimes called tipped wage), since tipped wages correlate with sexual harassment.
- Patrons should be selective about choosing to support businesses that commit to addressing sexual harassment.
- The City of Philadelphia should investigate allegations of sexual harassment, enforce penalties, increase staffing and funding for the City’s Department of Labor and Human Relations Commission, and form community-based partnerships such as a Worker Advisory Committee.
You can find the report in English here and in Spanish here.
Watch a video detailing the report’s findings here.
CRSH also provides fact sheets to share with restaurant workers who may face sexual harassment. Download the English version here, and the Spanish version here.
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