CLS Aims to Prevent Sexual Harassment for Low Wage Workers

  • Photo by Flickr user GGAADD, used via a Creative Commons license

Our non-profit partner Community Legal Services (CLS) is at the forefront of preventing sexual harassment of low wage workers with the development of the Coalition for Restaurant Safety and Health (CRSH). This project is one of the first of its kind in the country; it provides free anti-harassment trainings to restaurant employers and employees.

Low wage workers have a different experience when it comes to sexual harassment, as they are at higher risk for victimization in the work-place because of power dynamics stemming from intersectionality of identities such as race, gender, and immigration status. These same factors create barriers to reporting these cases. Victims may fear losing their job if they report the harasser, particularly if they lack savings or a back-up plan. Immigrant workers may be afraid of being threatened with ICE action, which CLS has seen in many of their cases where low wage immigrant workers have tried to report workplace harassment.

The CRSH is an effort to stop harassment before it happens by targeting an industry that, in recent years, has seen an increase in women, immigrants, and young people. A study done by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United in 2012 revealed that nearly 40% of Philadelphia restaurant workers have experienced harassment in the workplace. CRSH targets this by focusing on prevention and identification of what entails sexual harassment, as well advising employers on creating anti-harassment policies. They also empower workers to speak up and report such cases.

Learn more about the Colalition for Restaruant Safety and Health (CRSH) at Generocity.