Amy Poehler, a former star of the hit show “Parks and Recreations” spoke to a crowd of nearly 100 people, many of whom work in the restaurant industry and support the One Fair Wage campaign, about issues of wages and sexual harassment in the workplace. As Poehler was still aiming at a career as an actress, her main means of income came as a waitress in both New York and Chicago.
Poehler discusses how experiencing harassment on the job felt like a “routine way of life” for her. She states that she was harassed by both customers and coworkers. Members of One Fair Wage are rallying for tipped employees to receive, at very least, minimum wage. Currently, tipped restaurant employees in New York receive less than minimum wage, supplemented by a credit for earned tips, and many rely heavily on the tips they make in order to survive. This is one reason why, according to the One Fair Wage campaign, claims of sexual harassment are so frequent in the restaurant industry. Workers relying on tips may feel they must “shrug off” harassment because if they don’t, they may not receive those tips. The EEOC considers the restaurant industry to be “the single largest source of sexual harassment”, with sexual harassment charges filed at a rate that is FIVE TIMES higher than in any other type of industry – an alarming statistic. Changes in this industry are clearly necessary, as pointed out by Poehler herself. Harassment of any kind must come to an end.
There are strict laws in place that protect workers who fall victim to sexual harassment as well as workers who aren’t receiving earned tips, wages or overtime. At Leeds Brown Law, we pride ourselves on our aggressive legal representation of victims of sexual harassment as well as employees who are not receiving their earnings.