Tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii, bringing billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year. However, tourism and hospitality can be tough sectors to work in for several reasons. Many jobs require long hours for little pay, staff turnover can be high and sexual harassment is also quite prevalent in the tourism industry.
Here are a couple of examples of sexual harassment that employees in Hawaii’s tourism industry may experience.
Being accosted by hotel guests
People who work in the hotel industry often perform jobs where they work closely with guests. For example, members of the housekeeping staff may knock on doors to see if guests need fresh towels or toiletries. However, there are some guests who take this as an invitation to make suggestive or lewd comments to employees, which employees should not have to tolerate.
Having a coworker persistently ask them out
Employees in the tourism industry are often expected to work long hours, sometimes late into the night. It is generally perfectly acceptable for a group of coworkers to go out for drinks and let off steam after a shift when they all agree to do so. However, it is not acceptable for someone to repeatedly ask a coworker to go out one-on-one after they continue to decline the offer.
It is important for all employees to be aware of what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace in order to protect and advocate for themselves. This is especially true in the tourism industry where harassment is particularly prevalent.