“The hospitality industry is made up of hard-working, dedicated people who work long hours and give a lot physically and emotionally to make guests’ experiences great. It is important that restaurant workers are afforded the same protections, benefits, and opportunities as others. For many people, the restaurant industry is their first job and comes at a time where they are still learning about the world. Don’t we want to show them that they have worth and value so that when they go on to become bosses and managers they can instill that in their workplaces?”
Andrea Pentabona, a Boston-based bartender
"Sexual harassment is a daily concern for me. I’ve seen comments on Yelp that are obviously about me, with references to the “skinny sexy black girl” who made their latte. I regularly have men distracting me while I’m on bar to tell me I’m a tease or I look dominant when I work on the espresso machine. A coworker once asked me if I was wearing anything under my skirt. When I told my boss, he told me to expect that from men like him."
Kristina Jackson, a local barista
"As a server working at a diner in western Massachusetts, I primarily worked the overnight shifts so that I could attend college classes. I made less than $3/hour, and quickly learned that I needed to live with sexual harassment—from customers, cooks, and managers—if I wanted a good tip, my true source of income. After I refused sexual advances from managers, they scheduled me in sections that had few customers. Without a living wage, I was completely reliant on customers’ generosity and had to accept how they treated me. My rent, health, and education depended on it."
Marie Billiel, who now manages a restaurant in Cambridge