From the ‘front of the house’ to the ‘back of the house’ (and onto the green), Topgolf workers are speaking out against toxic work culture in the restaurant and golf entertainment industries.
Topgolf pays its tipped employees the lowest subminimum wage allowed in all the states in which they operate. Worker stories reflect a pattern and practice of sexual harassment, wage theft, and enforced white supremacy pervading the entire corporation — disproportionately affecting women of color and those who are undocumented.
A recent survey among Topgolf workers describes a culture of toxic masculinity, unprofessionalism, and boundary crossing.
While working at Topgolf:
- 54% of all respondants reported being sexually harassed
- 27% of survey respondents reported being sexually assaulted.
- 63% of women and nonbinary reported being sexually harassed and/or assaulted
- 100% of Black, Indigenous, and/or Latinx/Hispanic women under 50 years of age reported being sexually harassed
- 33% of women and non-binary workers under 50 years of age reported being sexually assaulted.
- 75% of tipped workers surveyed reported additional barriers such as a reduction in tips or fear of losing tips for enforcing COVID protocols, including 71% of all workers reporting they were overworked and the venue understaffed, with 54.5% of women reporting increased harassment and/or hostility.
When asked whether the work environment became worse during the COVIID 19 pandemic, workers from Topgolf locations in three states described increased wage precarity resulting in higher incidences of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Racial discrimination and sexual harassment were happening before pandemic, these incidences are sadly not a surprise, because the system Topgolf has internally is creating these imbalances. It’s not a surprise that it would get worse in a pandemic when workers need to rely on tips even more.
We need Topgolf to do the right thing — take the ‘ High Road’ and adopt better business practices including One Fair Wage and more severe consequences for reported sexual harassment — a full fair minimum wage for all workers with non-discriminatory tips on top.
#Stopgolf Solidarity Circle, current and former Topgolf employees have named an initial set of structural changes to be implemented at Topgolf:
- Reduce sexual harassment in the restaurant industry by providing livable wages – workers need a full minimum wage with tips on top.
- Commit to supporting the implementation of an independent general Ethics and Culture Oversight Committee for all venues, composed of current non-managerial Topgolf employees, survivors, as well as advocates and legal representatives specializing in sexual harassment, diversity, and inclusion. The activities of the committee will include, but are not be limited to, establishing and monitoring metrics, measuring compliance, and the implementation of an ethical and inclusive environment for all employees.
- In addition to Topgolf’s trainings, all Topgolf managers and supervisors are obligated to attend trainings by the Ethics and Culture Oversight Committee prior to promotion and three times per year thereafter.
- Immediately eliminate all financial incentives for Topgolf managers related to meeting or exceeding labor targets.
- Implement a monthly survey developed by the oversight committee to identify and prevent harassment issues.
This is a joint effort between Survivors Know and One Fair Wage.