CHICAGO (AP) – Allegations of sexual misconduct against famous figures and politicians are getting all the headlines but in restaurants, bars and hotels across the country, women are routinely subjected to the same kind of abuse.
Attorneys, experts and the workers themselves say that verbal and physical sexual abuse is widespread in the hospitality industry. They say women who speak up often have their pleas ignored or they face retaliation from bosses who want them to quit.
Some efforts are being made to improve the working conditions. In Chicago, for example, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring hotels to develop anti-harassment policies and to provide panic buttons to workers if they work alone in guest rooms.