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“For two years, I worked as a host at a pretty popular restaurant run by a pretty famous chef. I experienced some form of sexual harassment every single day, which ranged from inappropriate comments to full-on groping. I put up with it because I was told, ‘This is the culture.’ I was young and didn’t know any better. One day when I was standing by the host desk with a female coworker, one of the male servers walked up, put his hand up my dress, and walked away. My coworker and I were both in shock.”
“I told a manager what happened. An ‘investigation’ was launched that lasted about a week, during which I was forced to work with that server and put up with people whispering about what happened to me. Ultimately, the restaurant’s general manager told me that while my coworker corroborated what happened, they didn’t think there was any ‘malicious intent’ on the part of the server, so I needed to drop it and not talk about what happened again or I would be fired.
“I quit a couple of months later. I was in my early 20s, and this was a few years before the #MeToo movement, so I wasn’t fully aware of my rights or even the fact that what happened to me was considered assault. Had I been more informed, I would have — and should have — sued.“