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Employers should protect workers against customer harassment

When people talk about workplace sexual harassment, most people think about employers and managers harassing staff. While this form of harassment is common (and illegal), it is also very common for service workers to get subjected to harassment by customers or clients. Many businesses intentionally hire attractive, younger people for highly visible positions to entice more customers.

5 signs you may be experiencing workplace bullying

Workplace bullying can create a hostile work environment and even drive employees out of a job entirely. It goes beyond merely having a co-worker you don't like -- you're not going to be friends with everyone -- and reaches into the territory of abuse. Some have even said that it's equivalent to domestic violence. Instead of targeting a family member, it targets a co-worker.

Company culture and its effect on discrimination

Company culture sets the tone for not only how employees and management conducts business but also how they hire and promote. While managers give motivational speeches to the ranks and talk about goal-oriented strategies, they often turn a blind eye to the exclusive and discriminatory environment that exists. While they have made strides to ensure hiring practices are within the bounds of the law, meeting diversity standards, other types of discrimination have begun to emerge.

What to do about harassment as a service employee

Both women and men who work in service-based positions may find themselves subject to sexual harassment by customers. Unlike harassment by other employees, which many companies are quick to address, this kind of harassment is often ignored. Many times, managers will shrug off even physical assault, such as unwanted touching of arms, butts or chests as flirting or otherwise harmless behavior. Service workers who repeatedly complain about this kind of treatment could be ignored or even punished by their employers for trying to protect their bodily autonomy and personal safety.