Sep 1

Smart Sexual Harassment Prevention in the Hospitality Industry

It is a busy morning at the Leeward Hotel; rooms are fully booked for the holiday weekend. Sarah is finishing up a housekeeping shift when she is summoned to her manager’s office.

James, Sarah’s manager, has been making her feel uncomfortable for weeks. He finds reasons to brush past her or touch her when it is unnecessary. He also makes fun of his wife in a way she finds truly distasteful. So, she attempts to have all her conversations with him in the presence of coworkers. She is terrified this constant harassment will result in the loss of her job and doesn’t know what to do next.

Sexual Harassment Affects Everyone

Sexual harassment impacts individual victims and reverberates throughout an organization, causing serious and long-term harm. To prevent this kind of behavior, establishing a culture of respect, education, and zero tolerance is crucial.

The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute offers comprehensive training programs expertly prepared for leaders, managers, and employees in our industry. These programs focus on recognizing, reporting, and preventing sexual harassment incidents. They emphasize the importance of boundaries and respectful communication. They also connect by featuring scenario-based learning, such as the story described above. The goal is to ensure that employees at every level have clear policies and procedures in place so that they feel safe and supported when coming forward.

The Hospitality Industry’s Sexual Harassment Problem

These recent studies and reports highlight the pervasive nature of sexual harassment across the hospitality industry:

This Cornell University study, “Drawing the line: How the Workplace Shapes the Naming of Sexual Harassment” concluded that people who work in industries with high levels of sexual harassment – including hospitality, retail and manufacturing and information – have a harder time identifying inappropriate workplace behavior, with only 57% of those surveyed identifying quid pro quo sexual harassment.

In this HR Acuity report, 52% of employees across all industries cite workplace harassment and misconduct. 40% state that the harassment was sexual in nature.

Don’t Wait Until You Have a Sexual Harassment Problem

The AHLEI regularly updates our federal and state-level training initiatives to create environments where employees understand that sexual harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Let us help you to build and support a safe, respectful, and thriving workplace.

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