Casino Waitresses Fired Over Skimpy Costumes [Video]
Fifteen cocktail waitresses were fired from their jobs at an Atlantic City resort because owners didn't like the way they looked in the new, skimpy costumes they had selected. The sacked servers were promptly replaced by new, younger, waitresses in their 20s.
In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of the hit TV show 'Boardwalk Empire,' the new owners of the Resorts Casino decided to give their facility a roaring-'20s theme, and outfit their cocktail waitresses in sexy, flapper costumes that are somewhat less than authentic.
Staff members were asked to try on the new costumes and have their pictures taken in them, but were given the impression they were doing this so they could give input on the new costumes in order to have something designed that would look good on everyone. One waitress reported they were asked to undress in front of six co-workers, including a manager, to model the costume, which couldn't be worn with a bra.
Once the 15 original cocktail waitresses had trained the newcomers, they were promptly fired. "I was brought up to the office and told I did not meet the requirements for the uniform and was let go," Kathryn Felici told Cathy Gandolfo of WPVI-TV, Philadelphia. The official word was "violating uniform standards." Felici has worked as a cocktail server at the casino since it opened on Memorial Day Weekend 1978, and is representative of the servers who were fired.
Seven of the 15 workers have already filed a lawsuit and are represented by attorney Kevin Costello. Some of the others are deliberating, saying they would prefer just to get their jobs back. Union officials say they will back the servers in whatever they decide, and, since they were promptly replaced with younger workers, there are grounds at least for an age discrimination suit.
There is indeed a precedent for legal action against Atlantic City casinos with sexy costume policies. Two former cocktail servers brought a suit against the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa claiming management discriminated against and harassed "Borgata Babes" who did not meet their standards. These two did not get their jobs back, but settled a multimillion-dollar sex discrimination lawsuit out of court.
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