Jennifer Rogers, 20, looked great on paper for a job at the Tilted Kilt, a sports bar in Palm Desert, Calif. She made it through the application process and did well in her interviews, but when she went to try on the restaurant's uniform, she encountered a problem.
"Because the skirt was a size too small, they said that I could not work there," Rogers told KESQ News. "I couldn't wear the uniform."
Rogers was denied a position at the Tilted Kilt based on a federal law that allows companies to deny employment to individuals that do not fit their brand image, according to KESQ. By hiring waiters and waitresses as entertainers instead of servers, restaurants are legally permitted to not hire applicants that don’t match the job's physical requirements. The Titled Kilt goes as far as calling the company uniform a “costume,” ABC News reports.
“Kilt Girls are the cornerstone of the Tilted Kilt brand,” Tilted Kilt’s corporate office stated in a release obtained by ABC News. “Tilted Kilt specifically hires females for the role of the Kilt Girl who fit our profile, which includes being attractive, intelligent and having outgoing personalities.
While hiring discrimination based on national origin, sex, religion, race and color is illegal under federal law, discrimination based on body type is not. Currently, six U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Calif. and Madison, Wisc., have laws that forbid discrimination based on weight, according to Reuters.
As America's waistline continues to get bigger, many job seekers like Rogers have protested weight discrimination in the workplace. In 2010, a 132 pound waitress at Hooters was put on a weight restriction and told to shed some pounds if she wanted to keep her job, the New York Daily News reported. In 2011, nine former cocktail waitresses at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. said they were fired for being too old to wear the flapper inspired costumes required by the casino, 9 News reported.
Courtney Scaramella, 23, claimed she was fired for protesting her employer’s dress code, which forced waitresses to don a skimpy plaid skirt.
With the "breastaurant" industry experiencing a mini-boom, we can only expect similar lawsuits to keep coming up. Despite restaurant owners' claim that they have the right to base hiring decisions on looks, Rogers remains skeptical.
“Why should anyone have to look a certain way to work at a different place?” Rogers told ABC News. “It’s not fair.”
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Denny's may be known for its gut bomb menu items such as the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/dennys-mac-n-cheese-patty-melt_n_945390.html" target="_hplink">mac n cheese patty melt</a>, but survey participants were not so enthused with the offerings.
A stack of big fluffy pancakes is not enough to persuade people to vote IHOP #1. Instead, participants voted it number 16.
15. Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday's was called out for having the healthiest menu choices, but that wasn't enough to make it a favorite chain.
14. TGI Friday's
With a somewhat similar menu to Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday's also did not stack up so high.
0.7% thought Chili's fajitas, quesadillas and other offerings were worthy of the number one spot.
Noticing a pattern here? Applebee's only fared a tad better than its competitors.
11. Golden Corral
Just edging into the top 10 is Golden Corral, perhaps not the best known chain, but definitely a player. Based on this survey, it seems as if buffets are still popular, and Golden Corral was considered the best value.
10. Longhorn Steakhouse
Longhorn Steakhouse may not be the next Peter Luger's, but it makes enough diners happy enough.
9. Red Robin
We can't help wondering if the catchy Red Robin jingle contributes to the chain's success.
8. Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel has almost a cult following of fans craving Southern-inspired fare.
7. Outback Steakhouse
Those bloomin' onions apparently keep bringing diners back. Oh, and the steaks.
6. Red Lobster
Endless shrimp and cheap lobster make one happy casual diner.
Massive portions of Italian food are enough to give this chain the number 5 spot.
4. PF Chang's
PF Chang's was the only Chinese food chain to break the Top 17.
3. Olive Garden
Never-ending breadsticks and pasta bowls are perhaps enough to warrant a bronze medal.
2. Texas Roadhouse
The surprising silver medalist, Texas Roadhouse, is known for its Americana fare.
1. Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory captured 7.3% of the vote share, which was more than double the second place finisher, Texas Roadhouse. Perhaps people are digging the new <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/cheesecake-factory-debuts_n_915201.html" target="_hplink">Skinnylicious menu</a>. This is the second year in a row that the Cheesecake Factory has nabbed the number one spot.