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Casino Waitresses Fired Due to Sexy New Uniforms

1 April 2011 by admin

resorts-costume_20110331153349_640_480They say that 40 is the new 30 and that 50 is the new 40, which I guess means it’s also 30, due to the previous rule I just mentioned. An Atlantic City casino, though, 40 just means you’re out of work, according to a local labor union.

Resorts Casino, possibly compensating for its boring name, has decided to adopt a sexier atmosphere to attract a younger clientele. The casino recently fired 16 cocktail waitresses because they didn’t look good in the new uniforms, according to the casino. The labor union representing the waitresses says that it was about age, not the look.

The casino has decided to change to a Roaring Twenties theme. To go with the theme, the waitresses were given a new flapper costume (pictured at left) as their uniform. The waitresses were all taken to a room with uniforms lying on the floor and told to try one on and be photographed. According to one of the fired waitresses, there were only two sizes available to try on: a size 2 and a size 4. After trying on the uniforms, the women were photographed from the neck down and those photos were sent to a modeling agency acting as a consultant. Those that the agency said didn’t look good enough were fired. All of them were aged from the forties to sixties.

Robert McDevitt, president of the local union that represents the fired cocktail waitresses, told the media that the casino’s behavior was “disgusting and dehumanizing.”

The casino defended its decision. In a written statement, Resorts Casino said that “all cocktail servers were given individual consideration and the selection process was conducted in a fair and objective manner. We empathize with the cocktail servers who lost their jobs and gave them hiring preference in other open positions at Resorts.”

A lawsuit for wrongful termination or discrimination is likely, but do they have a case? To be honest, I’m not sure. On the surface, this seems like clear discrimination against middle-aged cocktail waitresses. However, many casinos opt for a sexual image of their cocktail servers. The courts have given leeway to businesses to discriminate based on their desired look at the hiring process. Businesses ranging from the Hooters restaurant chain to Chinese restaurants that only want Chinese-looking servers are legally allowed to only hire people that fit their desired look. Whether or not that translates into legally being allowed to fire someone for no longer fitting your desired look remains to be seen. There’s a good chance that New Jersey courts will give us an answer soon.

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