A Pittsburgh cocktail waitress was recently awarded over one million dollars in a lawsuit against her employer, the Rivers Casino.
According to the report, a high-roller placed a $1 tip in Allyson Pelesky’s bra while she was serving him. As a result, he also touched her breast. Pelesky immediately reported the incident to the police but later dropped charges when she was promised that the man would not be allowed to return to the casino. A little more than a month later, the casino lifted its ban on the man, leading Pelesky to file a lawsuit against the casino for violating its zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy.
Pelesky, who was teased by her co-workers, says she filed the lawsuit because she did not want to have to see the man who sexually harassed her every day. “Whether you’re a waitress, a manager, it doesn’t matter. We just deserve respect,” Allyson told the press. She feels that the casino only let the man return because he is a “Signature Card” player.
Pelesky was awarded $150,000 in compensation and $999,000 in punitive damages.
According to a recent report by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, nearly 90 percent of females that work in the restaurant industry, have experienced some type of sexual harassment at one time or another.
How prevalent do you believe sexual harassment is in the restaurant/hospitality industry?
*image by Thomas Hawk, Flickr
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