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Teens In Retail, Restaurants Often Face Workplace Sexual Harassment

Older coworkers may be targeting teens in the workplace for sexual harassment, according to the recent results of a study completed at the University of Illinois. Particularly those high school-aged employees working as servers, hosts, cooks or other restaurant position and those who work retail are more likely than their adult coworkers to be the recipient of harassment in the workplace.

Of the teens involved in the study, over half reported experiencing some sort of workplace sexual harassment in the last two years. The harassment reported included unwanted sexual attention, negative comments about a worker’s gender, explicit or lewd comments and even coercive behavior.

Regardless of your age, you do not have to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. Every employer should have reporting policies in place that allow workers to report offensive behavior without fear of retaliation from the employer or other employees.

Researchers suggested that teens in low-paying jobs may be less inclined to report sexual harassment because of their perceived lower status in the workplace. Those teens employed in positions that provided opportunities for skill development and received feedback on their performance reported greater job satisfaction and less trouble with harassment at work.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can not only affect a teen’s performance on the job, but can filter into other parts of life, including school.

Source: Yahoo News, “Teens More Likely to Face Sexual Harassment on the Job,” Chad Brooks, December 26, 2012

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