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- Dallas, Texas-based Topgolf has faced multiple legal cases alleging workers were sexually harassed, according to a new report.
The Current reached out to Topgolf for comment, but didn't hear back by press time. However, the company has denied in legal filings that its stores are hostile workplaces.
The chain operates one San Antonio location, and the report includes allegations made by an employee at that outlet.
Based on pleadings from a dozen 2020-2021 legal cases against Topgolf, 54% of workers reported being sexually harassed, One Fair Wage and Survivors Know allege. That number stood at 63% for women and nonbinary employees, according to the groups' analysis.
Further, 100% of Black, Indigenous or Hispanic women employees under 50 cited in the pleadings reported being sexually harassed amid “a culture of toxic masculinity, unprofessionalism and boundary crossing,” according to the report.
The report details two cases pending against Topgolf this year allege sexual assault by Topgolf Las Vegas managers of Indigenous and undocumented workers and fraud by its corporate human resources department.
In a motion to dismiss one of those lawsuits obtained by One Fair Wage, Topgolf USA Las Vegas' counsel stated the company wasn't responsible for harassment and assault of its workers because they “[face] a much greater risk of assault than that of the general public because of [their] employment.”
Treating restaurant work as inevitably high-risk disincentivizes change, the report maintains. The document further argues that such an environment allows Topgolf and other restaurant chains to profit from dangerous working conditions that they foster.
Beyond scrutinizing the lawsuits, the report's authors interviewed 72 workers from 28 Topgolf locations in 15 states. Employees interviewed by One Fair Wage described a workplace rampant with “toxic masculinity, bullying, unprofessionalism and boundary crossing beginning with management.”
Illustrative of that point is the fact that three of the women interviewed by One Fair Wage said they had been drugged and raped by a coworker or manager at a work-related social event, according to the report. Four women also reported being forcibly raped by a Topgolf manager, the document also states.
In its report, Fair Wage wrote that the employee accounts it collected showed a pattern: when workers reported violations to Topgolf’s human resources department, the company took no action. In some cases workers faced retaliation, according to the document.
“A few of the women who filed reports were hand-picked to come to [the director of operations] office to be interviewed," read the account from the San Antonio Topgolf employee cited in the report. "I was told the charges could not be substantiated as there were no cameras to capture video evidence.”
The employee added: “We were told the reports lacked substance because precise dates and times were not given, but the thing was, it was all the time [...] they said ‘can’t do anything about it.’”
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