Woman denied ‘Kilt Girl’ job because ‘she couldn’t fit into the skirt’
PALM DESERT — A 20-year-old woman found out the hard way that she had to have the characteristics of a model to work for a southern California restaurant. Now she’s suing that restaurant for holding her to those standards.
Jennifer Rogers said she aced the application process at the Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery in Palm Desert, Calif. It wasn’t until she went to try on the uniform that the company decided she wasn’t the right fit for the job.
“Because the skirt was a size too small, they said that I could not work there,” Rogers told KESQ. “I couldn’t wear the uniform. It’s upsetting and I don’t think anyone should have to go through that. Why should anyone have to look a certain way to work at a different place? It’s not fair.”
The restaurant is part of a Celtic-themed sports bar chain which opened in 2003 and has 65 locations in 22 states. One of the chain’s most popular locations is along 16th Street in Denver.
The corporate offices as well as the individual franchise are saying they have not broken any discrimination laws in this case. They say that claim has everything to do with the description of the “Kilt Girl” position for which Rogers applied.
The company says it was looking for an “entertainer,” not a waitress.
The Tilted Kilt job listing explains applicants must “adhere to the established appearance guidelines” and “maintain a costume fit, as detailed in the appearance guidelines.” In addition to the skimpy kilt, employees are required to wear a matching bra, a revealing white shirt and knee-high socks.
The Tilted Kilt is also citing federal law in an effort to make its case. While the books prohibit the hiring of an employee based on race, religion, sex or nationality, they say nothing about body type.
“We have very specific costume requirements that the girls need to fill and they’re actually hired as entertainers, not as servers,” Tilted Kilt general manager Bryan VanderMeer said.
The restaurant’s corporate office took VanderMeer’s comments a step further in its official statement to ABCNews.com, likening the company’s hiring process to a movie casting.
“We have three sizes of costumes and all applicants must conform to our costume guidelines to meet the expectations that our guests have for the brand,” the statement read. “The Tilted Kilt prides itself on hiring multi-faceted, intelligent servers, who not only fit the costume, but exemplify a personality that is friendly, courteous and customer oriented.”
Do you think Rogers has a case, or do you think there is nothing illegal about the Tilted Kilt’s hiring practices (even if some may considering them unsavory)? Tell us on Facebook.