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Home > Blog > Labor and Employment > Discrimination Unveiled In The Restaurant Industry

Discrimination Unveiled In The Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry is highly important for the U.S. economy and employment. From fast food to fast casual to fine dining, the industry provides jobs for an estimated 11 million individuals in the United States. However, while restaurants try to keep up with all of the new dining and culinary trends, many restaurants are stuck in past decades when it comes to how they hire and compensate their employees and the amount of employee discrimination that exists in the industry.

The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United is a non-profit that stands up for the rights of restaurant workers to have better conditions in the workplace. The organization recently published a report titled, “Ending Jim Crow in America’s Restaurants: Racial and Gender Occupational Segregation in the Restaurant Industry.” While this title may seem slightly dramatic, the information in the report exposes an industry that is still holding onto significant disparity and segregation not only based on race, but also between genders. When examined closely, race and gender discrimination seem to be rampant in the food industry. While the study focused on the industry specifically in California, the trends seem to be occurring in restaurants across the United States.

Gender And Racial Inequalities

The study found that white males have the best chance of getting hired at more high-end establishments and had a better chance of getting positions in the “front of the house.” Non-white males and women, on the other hand, were more often hired for “back of the house” with little chance for promotion. Two individuals–one white, one not–with the same experience and qualifications were sent to apply for the same job and the white male was twice as likely to get hired and more likely to even get an interview, despite claims from managers that they had race-neutral hiring policies.

A significant wage disparity is additional evidence of racial and gender-based discrimination. For example, the following are the average hourly wages for the different demographics studied:

  • White male = $14.18
  • Non-white male = $11.63
  • White female = $11.30
  • Non-white female = $10.13

These numbers are higher than they would be in Florida due to higher minimum wage in California and other economic factors that would differ in Florida. However, the statistics do paint a disappointing picture of the amount of discrimination still involved in the restaurant industry.

Discuss Your Concerns With A Qualified Florida Wage and Employment Law Attorney

No matter in which industry you choose to work, discrimination based on gender, race, or other protected factors violate both federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Any employer should be held accountable for unlawful discrimination or retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations, or any other violations of relevant employment laws. At the law office of Florida employment lawyer Robert S. Norell, P.A., we are committed to protecting the rights of employees who have been the victims of any type of employment law violations. If you are concerned about the way your employer has treated you, please call our office at 305-405-9243 for a consultation today.

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