Skip to comments.Court Backs Firing of Waitress Without Makeup
Posted on 12/29/2004 8:39:47 AM PST by freespirited
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A female bartender who refused to wear makeup at a Reno, Nevada, casino was not unfairly dismissed from her job, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
Darlene Jespersen, who had worked for nearly 20 years at a Harrah's Entertainment Inc casino bar in Reno, Nevada, objected to the company's revised policy that required female bartenders, but not men, to wear makeup.
A previously much-praised employee, Jespersen was fired in 2000 after the firm instituted a "Beverage Department Image Transformation" program and she sued, alleging sex discrimination.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Harrah's. All three judges are males appointed by Democratic presidents.
"We have previously held that grooming and appearance standards that apply differently to women and men do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex," Judge Wallace Tashima wrote for the majority.
He cited the precedent of a 1974 case in which the court ruled that a company can require men to have short hair but allow long hair on women.
The Lambda Legal Defense Fund, a gay rights group that backed Jespersen's suit, had argued that forcing female employees to have different standards than men was unlawful under rules, known as Title VII, against discrimination on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
The ruling found, however, that the casino's appearance standards were no more burdensome for women than for men.
In a dissenting opinion, Judge Sidney Thomas backed the reasoning of the plaintiff. "Harrah's fired Jespersen because of her failure to confirm to sex stereotypes, which is discrimination based on sex and is therefore impermissible under Title VII," he wrote.
"The distinction created by the majority opinion leaves men and women in services industries, who are more likely to be subject to policies like the Harrah's 'Personal Best' policy, without the protection that white-collar professionals receive," he wrote.
Beauty deserves tribute.
Same difference. When I tended bar, I always wore slacks, a white collared shirt and a vest. Kind of an old-time bartender look. Hair groomed, shoes shined, cleanly shaven. You can make a fortune off tips that way. Except in college bars. College kids don't tip, no matter what.
That explains the gay rights legal team.
"Bartenders have tip jars too....so you were correct in assuming she'd get more tips no matter what side of the bar she was on.
Stupid men....the better a woman looks the more money they give? "
Not this man. I tip based on service, not the appearance of the server. All a bartender has to do to get a good tip from me is make my darned drink right and not ignore me when my glass is empty.
I had been wondering about that stuff as well. I was pretty amazed at the tv commericals, but still skeptical (it is TV, afer all, lol).
Thanks to your own experiences, though, I think I may have to take the plunge and get some as well. Thanks for sharing.
Welcome to earth.
It's dumb, but true. I had some guy tip me $20 once because he liked the color of my hair. (Red) Stone sober, he was, and refused to take the money back.
He was a Hispanic gentleman, and wasn't trying to pick me up. A weird way to compliment me, (especially since I can't take credit for it, lol) but the thought was nice.
Except in college bars. College kids don't tip, no matter what.
Nope, and sometimes they try to pay for their drinks with change. One night, some kid did that (we're talking nickles and pennies!) and my bartender got so mad he threw the money at the wall and told him that if he had to raid the piggy bank to drink that he shouldn't even come in. It was freaky, but kinda funny.
College kids generally have to raid the piggy bank for virtually every expenditure.
I know. That's what was so freaky about his blow-up. It was funny to me because this was our most level-headed bartender, but the night was so crazy-busy it got to him.
I'd never seen him lose it like that.
It doesn't matter if they didn't have the policy for 50 years. They have it now. At my work, I am required to dress a specific way. If I do not (or refuse) I am not complying with company policy. I could be fired. They can change whatever policy they want. I can either conform, or I can find another job.
Should the court be able to force you to hire a waitress or bartender?
Lighten up...don't like the thread, bypass...
Lol, no of course it wouldn't matter. As far as I know, wearing make up doesn't improve your job skills.
Thinking about it, I recall older cocktail servers who took care of slot machine players that were perhaps around this woman's age. They wore sensible heels and more modest skirt lengths. Of course this was on the Vegas strip many years ago ;-)
Are you the one before or after? :)
This is true. I also agree that this case doesn't fit my criteria of discrimination. However, this woman worked for Harrah's for 21 years. Then Harrah's changed the standards. She obviously knew her job and was an employee in good standing.
Whatever is going on, I don't like it. I bear no resemblance to this woman, but I don't wear make up anymore, and would resent the hell out of a new edict from my employer ordering me to paint myself up.
Relax. We need a little distraction.
Conditions change. They changed the standards for everyone. There is an old business saying, "Adapt or die." She chose to terminate herself as far as employment is concerned.