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Segregation is still an issue in the service industry

In the restaurant industry, one thing that stands out is how women and minorities tend to get fewer promotions and work less desirable positions. There is occupational segregation as well, which means white individuals tend to enter into higher-paying fields in the service industry while those of color receive lower-paying jobs. One survey suggested that 58 percent of black individuals worked in the lowest-paid segment of the service industry, quick serve, while only around 26.6 percent of white people filled these low-paying jobs.

Across this industry, the pay people receive varies as well. Fine-dining workers tend to earn more than quick-serve workers, for instance. Another factor that plays a role in pay is where you work in the restaurant itself. Line workers, cooks and back-of-house workers may earn less and tend to include minorities, while these individuals are outnumbered two-to-one when it comes to front-of-house positions.

What can you do if you're a victim of racial discrimination or gender discrimination in the workplace?

Fortunately, you have a few options. First, you can talk to your employer about your concerns. If you're concerned that you're not receiving promotions or the kind of money others are, it's worth asking if there's a legitimate reason why. If not, then you may want to speak with your attorney. Your attorney can give you more information on whether your situation fits the requirements to be a racial or gender discrimination case.

The restaurant industry is the second largest private sector employer in the United States. Over 10 million people work in this industry, including those from all walks of life. Protecting workers' rights is vital to making sure people are treated fairly and receive appropriate wages.

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