With some restaurants in Lethbridge pushing the boundaries on what they have their servers wear, sexual harassment has creeped in to the daily lives of some of those servers.
A former server at the Tilted Kilt in Lethbridge, Emma Martin, worked there for approximately three months and is all too familiar with the issue.
What started off as a friendly conversation turned into one customer’s attempt to capture pictures under her skirt, unbeknownst to her.
“One of my tables told me they saw him taking pictures of me as I walking by him to check on other tables,” said Martin.
She told security and the man accused of taking inappropriate pictures was escorted out of the building.
Martin can’t help but wonder what ever happened to those photos.
“I can’t help to think if he got a good photo or not and if he still has it,” she said.
It wasn’t the first time something liked that has happened to her.
“I had a guy try to take pictures up my skirt by placing his phone on top of his shoe,” she said.ADVERTISEMENT
Alison Strand, Manager for the Tilted Kilt, says it rarely happens, but there have been similar incidents like Martin’s and believes it’s very unfortunate.
She ensures the management team at the Tilted Kilt takes those kind of things seriously and do their best to avoid those types of situations.
“We make it known to staff that those kind of things aren’t tolerated. We have a really open management team in terms of making sure the staff are comfortable about coming to a manager if anything happens to them that makes them feel uncomfortable. We strictly enforce that.”
Tilted Kilt is not the only restaurant in Lethbridge that takes sexual harassment seriously.
Joseph Poirier, General Manager for Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Casual, also believes sexual harassment is a subject that can’t be taken lightly.
“It’s just not tolerated. It’s really cut and dry, keep things appropriate and don’t cross lines. If my staff feel they are being harassed, we encourage the staff to stick up for themselves in those types of circumstances. If the harassment doesn’t stop, they can report it directly to me,” said Poirier.
According to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Alberta employers are responsible for maintaining a work environment free from sexual harassment for all employees.
It states management is responsible to take prompt and appropriate action towards complaints of sexual harassment from employees and can be liable under the Alberta Human Rights Act if they don’t comply to appropriate actions.
They add, having an effective sexual harassment policy in place can decrease an employer’s liability if a human rights complaint is made.
Strand agrees employees have the right to feel safe in their place of work and believes the correct measures have been put in place inside the four walls of the Tilted Kilt.
“We absolutely have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment,” Strand said.
Despite the two cases of sexual harassment. The Tilted Kilt encourages their servers to be extra friendly with customers and have no problem with their dress code.