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How bartenders can fight against sexual harassment

As a bartender, you are no stranger to uncomfortable remarks and unwanted interactions at your job. Unfortunately, sexual assault and violence are commonplace in the alcohol industry. In fact, bartenders experience the third highest rate of workplace violence, just behind police officers and security guards. 

Your profession should not be a green light for customers to treat you inappropriately. Here are a few tools for combating and responding to sexual harassment as a bartender.

Speak out right away

As soon as you become a victim of suggestive comments or nonconsensual touching, you should say something immediately. You should make the other person know you do not tolerate any harassment. You may need to call a supervisor over to speak with the patron if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe doing so. 

Document the situation

Documentation will help you if you decide to file a sexual harassment claim. Take notes about the incident, including the date and time. Keep this note safely in a journal or your smartphone.

Remember your establishment's policy

Your bar, restaurant or club likely has a sexual harassment policy. You can probably find this in your employee handbook or online. Make sure you understand how you should report sexual harassment within your workplace. The manual may tell you to report the incident to a human resources manager.

Ask your boss for sexual harassment training

Too many bars forgo sexual harassment training. Having an anti-harassment policy simply is not enough. Your whole staff should undergo formal training to deal with sexual harassment and violence. If all of your co-workers, managers and executives know what to do when someone is the victim of harassment, you can have a safer job. Ask your boss to implement a training program so that you do not need to worry as much.

These guidelines will help you be ready to take action when you experience sexual harassment at the bar.


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