Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Law and the Construction of Institutionalized Sexual Harassment in Restaurants

  • Kaitlyn Matulewicz (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This paper tells the story of how full-service restaurant work is organized in such a way that sexualized interactions between customers and women working as servers, bartenders, and hostesses become enmeshed in the labour process. Key to this organization is how law contributes to making restaurant work precarious. With the unique gendered wage-tip relation, a relation legitimized and reinforced through lower minimum wage regulations for alcohol servers, workers rely on customers for tips. This fuels a relationship of unequal power that leaves workers vulnerable to sexual harassment and sexualized interactions with customers as the price to be paid for a tip—a form of institutionalized quid pro quo. Moreover, power relations become intensified in a work environment where employee schedules, duration of shifts, the regulation of tips, and overall income are insecure and unpredictable—all of these characteristics are attributable, in large part, to shortcomings of employment standards legislation in British Columbia.

Résumé

L’article explique comment le travail de restaurant est organisé de telle façon à sexualiser les relations entre les clients et les femmes travaillant comme serveuses, barmaids et hôtesses. Cette sexualisation du travail serait le résultat de lois favorisant la précarité du travail de restaurant. À cause de la relation genrée salaire-pourboire, relation légitimisée et renforcée par des règles de minoration des salaires pour les serveurs d’alcool, les travailleuses dépendent des clients pour leurs pourboires. Il en résulte une relation de pouvoir asymétrique qui oblige les travailleuses à endurer le harcèlement sexuel et les interactions sexualisées de la part des clients en contrepartie d’un pourboire. De plus, ces relations de pouvoir asymétrique sont exacerbées par l’environnement de travail où les horaires, la durée des quarts de travail, la réglementation des pourboires et les revenus sont imprévisibles et mal assurés—ces caractéristiques étant attribuables à des vices dans les lois du travail de la Colombie-Britannique.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Joan Acker . 1990. “Hierarchies, Bodies, Jobs: A Theory of Gendered Organizations.” Gender & Society 4 (2): 139–58.

Joan Acker . 2006. “Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations.” Gender & Society 20 (4): 441–64.

Einat Albin . 2010. “Labour Law in a Service World.” The Modern Law Review 73 (6): 959–84.

Einat Albin . 2011. “A Worker-Employer-Customer Triangle: The Case of Tips.” Industrial Law Journal 40 (2): 181206.

Karla Erickson . 2004. “Bodies at Work: Performing Service in American Restaurants.” Space and Culture 7 (1): 7689.

Judy Fudge , and Leah F. Vosko . 2001. “Gender, Segmentation and the Standard Employment Relationship in Canadian Labour Law and Policy.” Economic and Industrial Democracy 22 (2): 271310.

Patti Giuffre , and Christine L. Williams . 1994. “Boundary Lines: Labeling Sexual Harassment in Restaurants.” Gender and Society 8 (3): 378401.

Elaine J Hall . 1993a. “Smiling, Deferring, and Flirting: Doing Gender by Giving “Good Service.” Work and Occupations 20 (4): 452–71.

Elaine J Hall . 1993b. “Waitering/Waitressing: Engendering the Work of Table Servers.” Gender & Society 7 (3): 329–46.

Eleanor LaPointe . 1992. “Relationships with Waitresses: Gendered Social Distance in Restaurant Hierarchies.” Qualitative Sociology 15 (4): 377–93.

Kari Lerum . 2004. “Power and Camaraderie in Service Work.” Gender & Society, 18 (6): 756–76.

Meika Loe . 1996. “Working for Men—At the Intersection of Power, Gender, and Sexuality.” Sociological Inquiry 66 (4): 399421.

Beth A Quinn . 2000. “The Paradox of Complaining: Law, Humor, and Harassment in the Everyday Work World.” Law & Social Inquiry 25 (4): 1151–85.

Rogers , Jackie Krasas , and Kevin D. Henson . 1997. “‘Hey, why don’t you wear a shorter skirt?’ Structural Vulnerability and the Organization of Sexual Harassment in Temporary Clerical Employment.” Gender & Society 11 (2): 215–37.

Dorothy E. Smith , ed. 2006. Institutional Ethnography as Practice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Christine L. Williams , Patti A Giuffre , and Kirsten Dellinger . 1999. “Sexuality in the Workplace: Organizational Control, Sexual Harassment, and the Pursuit of Pleasure.” Annual Review of Sociology 25: 7393.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Law and Society / La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société
  • ISSN: 0829-3201
  • EISSN: 1911-0227
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-law-and-society-la-revue-canadienne-droit-et-societe
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 417 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.