Taking Your Lunch Or Work Meeting To The Strip Club
It may be surprising, but even in 2015, with state and federal laws in place outlawing sexual discrimination in the workplace, it is not uncommon for uncomfortable sexual situations to take place at work, many of which could be considered sexual harassment. One issue that is not uncommon is employees visiting strip clubs, either socially outside of work, or as part of a work meeting.
In San Francisco, the Gold Club has become a popular lunch spot for many technology employees and business workers. Typically, more than 300 people will visit the club for lunch, with a majority coming from technology firms. The Gold Club is located in an area that is loaded with tech firms and the Gold Club has embraced the industry, running ads that bill itself as “Where the tech crowd plays”. As tech jobs have increased in the area, the Gold Club has also experienced an average of 20 percent annual growth in sales and attendance every year since 2011. Visitors to the Gold Club cite its cheap lunch buffet and the fact that they are stuck in offices all day and need to blow off some steam at lunch for its popularity.
However, in many cases trips to the Gold Club sometimes extend beyond lunch. According to Yelp’s former employees, interviewers in the early years of the company would take prospective hires to the Gold Club. Eventually, Yelp management found out and told employees to stop all visits to the club during work hours.
However, many companies continue to conduct business meetings at the Gold Club and other strip clubs. According to the club’s manager, business deals happen at the company every day. CEOs commonly visit, and companies will often rent out the entire business for events.
The Potential For A Sexual Harassment Case
Although visits to strip clubs as part of a workday may be common in some fields or geographic areas, an employer should discourage such outings. If workers eat lunch together at a strip club regularly, or visit a strip club for drinks after work, some employees could feel discriminated against or harassed.
It is illegal to harass a person because of that person’s sex under federal and state employment laws. This includes sexual harassment, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other harassment of a sexual nature, such as making offensive comments about a person’s gender. Isolated comments, lighthearted teasing, or incidents that are not serious are not illegal. However, harassment does become illegal when it’s so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, or if it results in an adverse employment decision.
Employees visiting strip clubs together is something that should be heavily discouraged. If a few employees are friends, and they choose to visit strip clubs together after hours or on weekends as a personal, social event, that would probably not be considered sexual harassment. However, if groups of employees go to strip clubs together during work hours, and management either turns ignores it or actually participates, that could be considered sexual harassment. Some employees may feel extremely uncomfortable in such a sexual atmosphere, but may not feel comfortable speaking out. They may also be afraid that if they don’t go they will not be part of certain circles at work, which could harm their careers.
Instead, employers should have an internal policy forbidding employee visits to strip clubs together during work hours and never, ever conduct any type of business meeting at a strip club. These types of actions are almost certain to make some employees uncomfortable, and are also likely to end up in a sexual discrimination lawsuit.
Contact Liberty Law If You’ve Experienced Similar Conduct At Work
If you feel that you have been sexually harassed at work, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland sexual harassment attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She will help you with your sexual harassment claim against your current or former employer. Call today to schedule a free consultation on your case.