Court Says Casino Can Fire Servers for Gaining Weight

But it has to do so in a professional way
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2015 2:31 PM CDT
Court Says Casino Can Fire Servers for Gaining Weight
Two "Borgata Babes" at work in 2005. A court ordered this week the Borgata casino can regulate the weight of its waitresses.   (Brian Branch-Price)

An Atlantic City casino is free to tell its cocktail waitresses they're too heavy, but it has to do so in a professional manner, according to a ruling this week. The New Jersey appeals court says the Borgata casino's personal appearance standards are lawful. But it also found 11 of the 21 "Borgata Babes" who brought the lawsuit may have been the victims of a hostile work environment over the enforcement of those standards. Borgata Babes—who wear corsets, stockings, and high heels and appear in a yearly calendar—are told about the standards when they are hired, according to the casino.

An attorney for the 21 waitresses says she's disappointed in the ruling. "Sexual objectification has been institutionalized and is being allowed to stand," she says. The appearance policy prohibits Borgata Babes from gaining or losing more than 7% of their body weight. The casino says it has fired two servers for violating the policy: one for gaining and one for losing weight. Part of hostile work environment claim from the waitresses includes supervisors asking waitresses whether they're pregnant or just getting fat and coworkers snorting like pigs at them. The appeals court recommended those claims be reheard by a lower court, which overturns part of a 2013 decision. (More casino stories.)

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