These industries have the most reported cases of sexual harassment

The media industry has come under fire as a flood of women speak out about sexual assault and misconduct involving men including Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, Vox Media head Lockhart Steele, Disney Animation head John Lasseter and most recently “Today Show” host Matt Lauer.

And while allegations related to people in the media often make headlines, sexual harassment claims occur every day in all industries. The worst offenders when it comes to sexual harassment actually work in the food service and retail industries.

The Center for American Progress analyzed data on sexual harassment charges in the private sector filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the past decade.

14.23 percent of all sexual harassment charges are filed by workers in the accommodation and food service industries, followed by 13.44 percent in retail trade and 11.72 percent in manufacturing. Note that retail is the most common career in the US followed by food preparation, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, 66 percent of female restaurant employees reported having been sexually harassed by managers, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United data shows.

But the wave of claims against perpetrators is creating change in the restaurant industry too. Celebrity chef John Besh resigned last month after 25 women reported that they were victims of sexual harassment — some of it by Besh himself.

Anthony Bourdain publicly apologized on “Late Night with Seth Meyers for perpetuating an oppressive “meathead culture” in the food indsutry. And chef Tom Colicchio wrote an open letter in the wake of the Besh news.

“This isn’t just a matter of a few bad eggs and we all know it,” the letter states. “For every John Besh splashed across Page Six, we can assume hundreds, if not thousands, more with kitchens just like the ones his female employees described. Something’s broken here.”


Leave a Reply