PALM DESERT, Calif. - Twenty-year-old Jennifer Rogers applied to work at Palm Desert's Tilted Kilt. The popular sports bar is reopening after a year and a half. Rogers made it through the entire application process but was turned down after she tried on the company uniform, or costume, as the managers call it. "Because the skirt was a size too small, they said that I could not work there," said Rogers. "I couldn't wear the uniform."
While Rogers was upset about why she did not get the position, general manager Bryan VanderMeer explains why she did not fit the criteria for a Kilt Girl. "We have very specific costume requirements that the girls need to fill and they're actually hired as entertainers not as servers," said VanderMeer.
Federal law prohibits hiring discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. But, there's nothing about body type. Beyond that, a special clause in the law protects owners at restaurants like the Tilted Kilt. The clause states:
"It shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to hire and employ employees, for an employment agency to classify, or refer for employment any individual, for a labor organization to classify its membership or to classify or refer for employment any individual, or for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining programs to admit or employ any individual in any such program, on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise."
Basically, businesses like the Tilted Kilt may hire based on what fits their brand. However, Rogers does not agree with the law. "Why should anyone have to look a certain way to work at a different place?" she said. "It's not fair."
The Tilted Kilt is scheduled to re-open in two weeks, they've already hired 140 people with more on the way.