Twenty servers of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa of Atlantic City filed a lawsuit against their employer, citing harassment and humiliation for the dress code. The group also claimed the casino singled out the women, known as Borgata Babes, when compared to male servers. The casino requires servers to a certain weight and have a certain look. The casino has a body weight requirement where servers are only allowed to gain 7% or less of the original weight when hired in. The state appeals court ruled in favor of the casino, giving the facility the right to fire individuals who gain weight.
The ‘babes’ claimed they were singled out and would be disciplined if they ate a cookie. Some were even asked if they were faking being pregnant. Despite the claims by the waitresses, the court ruled that no gender-based discrimination was taking place.
Marie Lihotz, the Appellate Division Judge, stated that while the court does not deny the personal appearance standard costume of the casino as well as the physical fitness standards that are imposed, many of which could be labeled ‘archaic stereotypes’ of the male and female employees, they do not find any gender-based discrimination.
Lihotz stated: “Howefver…actionable conduct results when the stereotypes are shown to be accompanied by a burden on one sex and not the other or are otherwise used to interfere with employment opportunities of the discriminated group.”
The ruling by Lihotz upheld a 2013 ruling in which the plaintiffs could not shed the label of babe which was embraced during the hiring process. Lawsuits filed by individuals who state they were sexually harassed due to gaining weight will be moving forward in the judicial process.