Not every workplace is reasonably safe. In some cases, the nature of a person’s everyday work might put them in extremely vulnerable situations.
Here are three jobs that tend to carry a significantly higher risk of sexual harassment or assault.
Hotel housekeepers and janitorial workers
Hotel housekeeping can easily lead to a situation where an employee is taken advantage of. How? Cleaning and maintenance employees often do their jobs in enclosed rooms with no cameras, away from other employees. It’s in those situations that assault and other offenses often happen.
The #MeToo Twitter hashtag, which called on women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, helped bring to light many incidents of sexual harassment experienced by housekeeping and maintenance workers. Some unions have since petitioned for “panic buttons” to be made available for hotel staff members.
Janitorial work of all kinds — not just in hotels — can involve risky situations. Cleaning services are often done late at night or extremely early in the morning while other people aren’t around to witness or help when a dangerous situation arises.
Today, pharmacy giants like Walgreens and CVS rule the industry. However, some small, independent pharmacies still fight to compete — especially in rural areas.
But as the nation’s opioid epidemic hasn’t shown signs of slowing, pharmacy workers sometimes encounter desperate individuals struggling with addiction. Pharmacists have been held at gunpoint and even lost their lives.
Taxi drivers or ride-share drivers
In a way, taxi drivers have a similar work environment as those in the cleaning service industry. Drivers spend their workdays away from co-workers in small, enclosed spaces accompanied by strangers. A driver must also concentrate on the road ahead, rather than the actions of the passenger behind them.
Driving a taxi or ride-share vehicle at night can also be risky, particularly if a passenger’s judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Making work safer
Today, employers have more resources than ever to make work environments reasonably safe. If you’re worried about the dangers in your work environment, it’s your right to request that your employer take action to remedy the situation.
For example, the employer could install security cameras or a panic button, as well as provide training on how to handle a crisis situation.
If your employer is not responding to your safety requests or has failed to take actions after you’ve made reports of abuse at work, contact an employment law attorney to learn more about your options. Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for exercising your right to a safe work environment.