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Hooters’ Discrimination?

Go to fullsize image  Here’s an issue we discuss in my employment law class.   Can Hooters refuse to hire male servers?  They do of course.  Well now a man in Texas has had enough and has filed a human rights complaint alleging he has been discriminated against because he is not an attractive female.  He wants to be a “Hooters Girl”, in other words, and the employer won’t hire him.

We’ve talked about how this case would be analyzed under Ontario human rights law in class.  Since we are prepping for final exams, maybe someone from my course could attempt to explain to the Blog readers how this case would be decided under Ontario law.  What sections of the Human Rights Code would come into play?  What ‘defense’ would the employer assert?


2 Responses to Hooters’ Discrimination?

  1. Marc Reply

    February 6, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I have a recollection that this exact same case had arisen many years ago in a US court (a different male plaintiff suing Hooter’s). I regret that I don’t have a citation for you.

    Hooter’s argument hinged on the notion of BFOR/BFOQ — that the servers were essentially actresses or models, and their gender was an intrinsic element of their job duties, just as a lingerie model must be female, or an actress representing a female character must be famale.

    The plaintiff (a disgruntled male applicant) argued that the job was akin to that of a flight attendant. Historically, airlines had defended their women-only hiring policies on the ground of customer preference, and eventually such arguments had been struck down.

    The end result was that the US court accepted the argument of a gender-based BFOR/BFOQ, and decided in favour of Hooter’s. I’m hopeful that another reader can find the citation for this.

  2. Steve Reply

    March 11, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Right now in the pub i work at they are replacing all of the experienced male bartenders with newly hired females. The male bartenders are not being fired but scheduled for shifts as waiters (for which they have no experience) or to work the bar on less busy nights or floors.

    Is this legal? We already know it is scummy.

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