Fast Food Restaurants Are Also Full of Sexist 'Locker Room Talk'

This study makes fast food joints sound more like a ride on the 'Access Hollywood' bus with Trump than a nice place to eat burgers with your family.

Oct 11 2016, 10:00pm

Photo via Flickr user

It's not just the women in the crosshairs of "The Donald" who have to deal with men who think that "locker room talk" is no big deal.

According to a recent survey by Hart Research on behalf of Futures Without Violence, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the National Partnership for Women & Families, 40 percent of women employed at fast food restaurants experience sexual harassment on the job. That's a pretty staggering number, especially considering that the fast food industry employs some 3.7 million Americans, about half of whom are women.

The findings were based on a sample of 1,217 women aged 16 and up who work in a "non-managerial" position. The women who reported receiving sexual harassment on the job also said that they suffered from serious aftereffects such as stress, anxiety, and depression as a result.

"The most common types of harassment include unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions (27 percent), unwanted hugging or touching (26 percent), and unwanted questions about workers' sexual interests or information about others' sexual interests (20 percent), with 2 percent of women even reporting sexual assault or rape on the job," the study concludes.

READ MORE: Chipotle Is Dealing with Yet Another Lawsuit—This Time, Over Alleged Racism

But these women aren't out of the woods after these incidents of harassment go down. Perhaps most jarring is the fact that 21 percent of women reported that when they did speak out about the sexual abuse that they had suffered, they faced negative consequences from their employers such as having hours cut, being transferred, or even getting fired. The study also found that 34 percent of African-American women and 26 percent of Latinas reported one "negative action," while 17 percent of white women had similar experiences, indicating that race is also a factor in how women in these jobs are treated.

"These survey results are significant and timely as they give voice to women in low-wage jobs, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy, whose intolerable experiences with sexual harassment are often not captured in the headlines," said KC Wagner of The Worker Institute at Cornell University in a press release. "Having less power on the job does not mean they have any less workplace rights to safety, dignity, racial justice, and economic security on the job."

This makes fast food restaurants sound a lot like more like the Access Hollywood bus than it does the service industry, but with all of the talk of groping and forced kissing coming from the pouty, defeated lips of Donald Trump, the general public may finally get an idea of how harmful "locker room talk" can be.