In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the unending wave of sexual harassment allegations from women against powerful men in the entertainment industry, many seem to ignore the problem of female hotel housekeepers being sexually harassed and assaulted by guests.
Fact: Statistics show that the vast majority (53 percent) of all female hotel housekeepers have been victims of some form of sexual harassment at work.
While the problem of powerful men sexually harassing and assaulting women in the entertainment industry is important, let’s not ignore the fact that hotel housekeepers are often too weak to speak out against sexual harassment at work, largely due to the socioeconomic power imbalance between housekeepers and guests.
How sexual harassment and assault plays out in the hotel room
You may be surprised, but the following scenario is way too common. A female housekeeper enters a room alone to perform her cleaning duties. A male guest is in the room, calling the housekeeper to enter the bedroom or bathroom. The male guest is naked or half-naked and suggests a sexual act or massage.
Sometimes, it all ends with the housekeeper politely declining the guest’s proposal. In the worst-case scenario, however, housekeepers are forced into performing a sex act or have to endure sexual harassment throughout their stay in the room as they perform their cleaning duties.
Female housekeepers are exposed to sexual harassment and abuse by guests
“This private environment exposes female housekeepers to sexual harassment and assaults by guests,” explains our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers.
Due to the fact that the private environment puts female housekeepers in hotels at high risk of sexual harassment, many cities have passed laws requiring hotel employers to supply their workers with panic buttons so that they would be able to call security when feeling threatened or intimidated.
However, many hotel employers are not thrilled about these security measures, arguing that the cost of providing such security technology is not worth it. Furthermore, these non-compliant hotels argued that they have overtime pay provisions and blacklist guests who have been accused of sexual harassment and assault by hotel workers.
Forms of sexual harassment suffered by hotel housekeepers
But here is the most disturbing fact: many housekeepers who have experienced sexual harassment at work or were victims of sexual assault by guests are often silenced by their abusers or even employers or are too weak to speak out against powerful guests.
It happens more often than you think. Female housekeepers often experience various forms of sexual harassment from hotel guests, including but not limited to cornering, groping, physical intimidation, lewd comments, solicitations for sex, catcalling, and many more.
These forms of sexual harassment can take a toll on the housekeeper’s emotional and physical health and make it impossible for her to perform her duties. In that case, an experienced sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California can help pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit against the guest and/or employer.
Pursue compensation for being sexually harassed at work
The truth is this: housekeepers are overwhelmingly female and low income, while hotel guests are overwhelmingly male, wealthy and carefree. This makes female housekeepers extremely vulnerable to sexual harassment at work. As if this was not unfair enough in and of itself, female housekeepers often fear that no one will believe them.
And that is where a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney enters the picture to provide you with legal representation. We believe each and one of you. We are here to hear your stories and help you take legal action. You deserve to pursue compensation for having to put up with sexual harassment at work or being a victim of sexual assault by hotel guests.
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