Florida Hooters accused of sex discrimination

November 16, 1990|By Cox News Service

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- At Hooters, the chicken wings come mild, medium, hot or Three Mile Island. But these days it's the breasts that are causing all the heat.

A sex discrimination complaint against the popular restaurant chain could leave judges and lawyers debating one deceptively simple question -- just what does Hooters really sell? Chicken wings or cheesecake?

Two weeks ago, a district director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Pasco County near Tampa found that Hooters discriminates against men by hiring only women as bartenders and waitresses. (A Baltimore Hooters opened last month at the Inner Harbor.)

"Hooters fails to hire males as bartenders-servers as a class," Federico Costales of the EEOC wrote to Mike Albergo, 42, who complained after not being hired as a bartender in March 1989 at a Hooters in Port Richey, Fla. "The evidence establishes a violation of Title VII" of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Costales ruled.

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