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Forty percent of women working in the fast-food industry have been sexually harassed at work.
That’s according to a recent survey by Hart Research, which conducted an online survey this summer of more than 1,200 working in nonmanagerial fast-food jobs in the US. The most common forms of harassment were sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions; hugging or touching; and questions about sexual interests or unwanted information about others’ sexual interests.
This startling statistic, first reported by The Huffington Post’s Emily Peck, was cited in a Huffington Post blog post written by Cycei Monae, who worked as a cashier at a McDonald’s in Flint, Michigan. Monae was one of 15 people who recently filed federal complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying they were harassed while working at McDonald’s.
“Nearly every day, my shift manager would rub himself against me or try to grab my backside when he passed me,” Monae wrote in The Huffington Post. “He would compliment my body and say he wanted to ‘do things’ to me.”
Monae said that she reported the harassment to McDonald’s corporate after her manager “came up from behind and put a cellphone photo of his genitals in front of me” but that nothing happened.
McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey told Business Insider the company was reviewing the harassment allegations.
“At McDonald’s, we and our independent owner-operators share a deep commitment to the respectful treatment of everyone,” Hickey said. “There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in McDonald’s restaurants or in any workplace. We take any concerns seriously and are reviewing the allegations.”
The Hart Research survey found that nearly half of those reporting sexual harassment also reported health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression as a result. Only 40% of those who said they had been harassed reported an incident to their employer.
Sexual harassment has become a hot-button political issue of late, especially after last week’s discovery of a 2005 recording of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boasting about being able to kiss and grope women.
Since the publication of the tape, Trump has repeatedly said the comments were “locker-room banter.”