What To Do If You're Being Sexually Harassed as a Bartender

People who become bartenders choose their profession because they love meeting people and interacting with them. You have to be a people person when you’re a bartender, and part of their success is working in a fun environment.

As employees, a work environment can only be considered “fun” when it is safe and everyone feels comfortable.

An employer’s responsibility is to ensure that the work environment is safe for all of the employees and the customers.

Unfortunately there are situations where employees can become the victims of sexual harassment.

There are many ways that sexual harassment can manifest in the workplace. It can be unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, jokes about gender that are sexual in nature and any verbal or physical harassment.

The harasser can be male or female and harassment can take place between men or women as well as members of the same sex.

Sexual harassment can take a variety of forms for bartenders. Not only can it happen between coworkers or with a supervisor, but it can also happen with a customer as well.

Each situation requires a specific response, given that interactions with customers work differently than they do with someone who is part of the company.

Reporting sexual harassment is not easy because the situation itself is awkward enough, and it can be even more challenging depending on the harasser. If you are a bartender and you have been sexually harassed, you need to understand what your options are and how to proceed.

What To Do

Sexual harassment claims are not easy, but there are steps you can take to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Ideally, you would report the incident and your employer’s human resources department would take care of everything.

Sadly, it is incumbent upon the victim to present evidence that the harassment took place, and even then there is no guarantee that an employer will take the proper steps to resolve the matter.

Since the employee must build a case, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible, figure out to whom you should report the incident and decide whether it would be beneficial to consult an attorney.

Many of these decisions will be guided by the specific circumstances of the incident and whether the harasser was a coworker or customer.

Gather Evidence

The most important thing to do in a sexual harassment case is to gather evidence. You need to make a note of what day the incident(s) took place, the time it took place and the people who were there.

This is important in case someone tries to question who was involved. If there is security camera footage or if a coworker is on the clock, then it supports your claim.

If there were witnesses to the incident then you will want to have their names and contact information so that they can provide a statement of what happened.

You will want to collect any security camera footage that exists of the incident, and you should have copies of any emails, text messages or voicemails related to the incident.


When it comes to reporting the incident, you need to know who to speak with and that will depend on the harasser. If you are being harassed by customers, then you need to make your supervisor aware of the incident right away.

If it is a regular customer who frequents your bar or restaurant, then your supervisor should intervene and put an end to the harassment.

If that doesn’t work, then as an employee you can file a claim or a private lawsuit against your employer for failure to take action.

If the harassment is from a coworker or supervisor, then you need to speak with human resources.

If there is no human resources representative available or if the person who is harassing you is also in charge of HR, then speak with another manager or the owner.

If you bring the complaint up to a manager or HR, make sure you pay attention to their reaction. Are they taking the matter seriously, and do they act on it? If they can resolve the matter, so much the better. That’s what you want to happen.

In many cases, though, reports of sexual harassment go unpunished and no corrective action is taken, adding to the hostile work environment and making it difficult for you to perform the duties of your job.

If this is the case, then you should consider filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or file a private lawsuit against your employer or the customer in question. At this point you should consider speaking with an employment lawyer about your options.

Get a Free Evaluation Today

Sexual harassment cases are stressful. As the victim of sexual harassment you must continually relive the experience every time you recount what happened.

Working with an expert employment lawyer can help to make the process easier, and it can also help to make sure you get the biggest settlement possible. Settlements in sexual harassment cases often include compensation for lost wages, loss of job, retaliation, legal fees and emotional distress.

Employment attorneys understand the legal system and will make sure that you have all of the evidence you need to make your case as strong as it can possibly be.

Many employment attorneys offer free or reduced rate consultations so that you can explain what happened and determine your best course of action.

Though working with a lawyer does not guarantee that you will win your case, it will greatly improve the chances for success if you have an expert working on your behalf.

When you meet with an employment attorney, make sure you understand the fee structure.

Some employment attorneys will work on a contingency basis, meaning they will not require payment of fees upfront and will only be paid if you win your case.

For more information on how an employment lawyer might be able to help you, fill out a free case evaluation.

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