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What To Do If You're Sexually Harassed By Your Restaurant Manager?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is fairly common in the restaurant industry. When you go to work, there are things that you anticipate as a worker. You want to be compensated for the labor you perform, and you want to be able to do so in a secure atmosphere. It is your employer’s responsibility to make sure that your work environment is safe, and you should feel confident in reporting concerns if something makes you feel uneasy.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, your manager may be the one who is specifically responsible for its occurrence, putting you as an employee and a subordinate in an uncomfortable position.

Unwanted sexual advances, solicitations for sexual favors, jokes of a sexual nature, and unwanted verbal or physical sexual contact are all forms of sexual harassment. Harassment can include any remarks that demean or degrade a gender. It’s crucial to remember that the harasser might be male or female, and that it may occur between people of the same sex.

If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment by your restaurant’s manager, it’s critical to know your options and how to proceed if the person harassing you is the company’s highest-ranking employee. You also want to make sure you’re protected from retaliation if you complain about your manager’s behavior.

Steps To Take If You're Sexually Harassed By Your Restaurant Manager

If you believe you have been the target of sexual harassment, whether it was one-time or ongoing, you must take appropriate action to prevent future instances. The fact is that each circumstance is unique, and a lot will be determined by your work environment.

If you work at a chain restaurant, someone in human resources is probably the person to contact about the incident. However, if you work for an independent business, your manager may be the only one with whom you can report the matter, which is problematic.

In either case, if you have been sexually harassed by your restaurant manager, you should gather as much evidence as possible, identify who can accept your complaint, and then consult an attorney depending on your circumstances. A hostile work environment can be a key factor in determining your complaint.  

How To Write A Harassment Complaint Letter: A Guide For Employees

If you work in the service sector and have been sexually harassed by your restaurant manager, there are a few things you need to do if you want to file a complaint.

Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment at work by your restaurant, you are entitled to report the situation or events to your employer.

When you’re ready to file a complaint, the first step is to submit a formal letter to your human resources department notifying them of what occurred.

The subject line is the first thing you need to include in your sexual harassment complaint letter. It’s one of the most crucial elements of the document since it should be easy to understand for human resources personnel.

The main point of your email should be to express your dissatisfaction with a specific person and/or situation. It’s acceptable if you’re not sure who handles human resources at your company, so just address the letter to “Hiring Manager” or whatever is appropriate at the time.

The body of the email should provide information about who has been sexually harassing you, including what they did and where the incident or incidents took place.

You should include any witnesses that observed your restaurant manager sexually harassing you in your letter. When HR investigates the situation, this will aid them. You should then end the letter on a professional note.

Gather Evidence of Sexual Harassment

Although sexual harassment often takes place in isolation from other workers, it’s conceivable that a supervisor may make improper jokes or advances while in a group of people. The first step is to gather proof that a case of sexual harassment occurred. This will vary based on the circumstances, but in general you must keep track of the time, date, and location (or locations) of the event (or events), as well as who was involved.

It’s critical to document the time and date of the event so that your complaint can be verified by time cards and security camera video if someone claims you weren’t there when the incident occurred.

If there were other people present, you may request that they serve as witnesses to the occurrence. You should check for video surveillance of the event; it could support your case.

In some situations, there may be emails, texts, or voicemails that demonstrate the harassment. Make sure you have a copy of everything so they can be used as evidence. Making a duplicate of them also protects you from your employer trying to remove them later.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

In most businesses, there is a person who functions as the company’s human resources liaison, or if the firm is big enough, it might be an entire department. This may be the case for a restaurant chain, but in the instance of a smaller, independently owned business like a “mom and pop” restaurant, you might discover that the offender is also the person to report the abuse to.

If you don’t have a Human Resources representative to talk with, you can contact another manager about the situation and that manager will forward it on to the restaurant owner.

However, in certain situations, your supervisor is also the owner, implying that there is no other way to report the issue.

Whether you can file a complaint with HR or not, there are several things you may do next.

If you believe that your restaurant will not protect you from harassment, you may file a claim with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or pursue a private lawsuit. In either case, consulting with an attorney is advised to verify that you receive the highest compensation possible.

What Happens After You Make A Sexual Harassment Complaint?

After you submit a sexual harassment complaint against your restaurant manager, your employer will investigate the case.

They are aware that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and they should take it seriously, especially if the harasser is a manager.

Your company will maintain this complaint as well as your perpetrator’s file in order to see if similar instances of sexual harassment have occurred in the past.

Your company should handle the matter appropriately and settle it. If your firm fails to resolve this problem or resolves it in a manner that you feel is incorrect, you may want to seek legal counsel.

If you want advice from an employment lawyer, he or she can assist you in submitting a claim to both state and federal authorities.

If you file a claim with the EEOC, which is the federal government’s agency that investigates workplace discrimination, and pursue a claim at the state level for sexual harassment.

If you do not file your complaint with the EEOC, you are unable to sue your employer for sexual harassment. Your employment law attorney can assist you in ensuring that all of your evidence is in order before submitting a claim.

If you work in the service industry, for example as a hostess, waiter, or cook and your restaurant manager sexually harasses you, you should file a formal complaint against your harasser in the form of a sexual harassment complaint letter.

Get A Free Sexual Harassment Case Evaluation

Women’s claims of sexual misconduct are difficult since they must give personal information to another person, which may be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and traumatic for victims who have already been traumatized by the offense(s).

It’s also a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer before taking any formal actions, since this may help you figure out what your next steps should be as well as finding someone working on your behalf during a very tough situation.

Employees who believe their concerns aren’t being addressed, or who don’t know who to report the harassment to, can file a discrimination claim with the EEOC or pursue a civil lawsuit against their employer.

Employees have 180 days to bring a sexual harassment claim against an employer, so it is critical to begin immediately in order not to lose the opportunity to do so.

An attorney might help you avoid retaliatory behavior. Employees are protected against acts of retaliation, including pay reductions, loss of hours, being assigned more work than usual, and any other treatment or circumstance that was not previously present, under federal law.

Call our legal team immediately at (888) 997-2148 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced sexual harassment lawyers and it will be your initial step toward receiving fair and just compensation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis and there are no costs unless we win, and the consultation is completely free.