It’s official — there are situations in which you can fire employees for gaining weight.
A New Jersey judge ruled an Atlantic City casino wasn’t guilty of sex discrimination when it required its “Borgata Babes” to wear sexy uniforms and prohibited them from gaining too much weight.
Twenty-two women, all cocktail waitresses, complained the company’s appearance policies forced them to work in an atmosphere of sexual objectification and to adhere to standards based on gender stereotypes.
Pretty clear terms
Michele Bowman, writing on the lawyers.com blog, explained that the Borgata’s contract with the waitresses barred them gaining more than 7 percent body weight – one dress size – and threatened the women with suspension if they did so.
The women claimed they were being discriminated against on account of their gender.
But Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson didn’t agree. The terms and conditions explained in the advertising for the position made it clear that appearance was going to be an important factor in the Borgata Babes’ continued employment, the judge wrote.
Check out some of the language in a brochure describing the job: “They’re beautiful. They’re charming. And they’re bringing drinks.
“She moves toward you like a movie star, her smile melting the ice in your bourbon and water. …
“Part fashion model, part beverage server, part charming host and hostess. All impossibly lovely. The sensational Borgata Babes are the new ambassadors of hospitality … On a scale of 1 to 10, elevens all. …
“Eyes, hair, smile, costumes so close to absolute perfection as perfection gets (sic).”
Given the clarity of the description of the job — another piece of promotional material said, “What is a ‘Borgata Babe,’ you ask? Borgata Babes are entertainers; entertainers who serve complimentary beverages to our casino customers” — the judge wrote that “it strains credulity for any of the (complainants) to claim they did not understand the program they would be working in and the roles they were expected to play … (The) applicants knew the position they were seeking was much more than a ‘cocktail waitress’.”
The full decision can be found at dressingconstitutionally.com.