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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Man Wants To Lick Hooters (In The Courtroom)

hooters_ireland.jpgNikolai Grushevski, a man from Corpus Christi, has filed a lawsuit because Hooters wouldn't let him work as a waiter, which we guess would be called a Hooters Boy.

"Hooters tries to circumvent the law by referring to its waiters as 'Hooters Girls.' Hooters is wrong," claims the lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Corpus. "Just as Southwest Airlines attempted nearly three decades ago with stewardesses, the waiter's position addressed herein is being limited to females by an employer '...who merely wishes to exploit female sexuality as a marketing tool to attract customers and insure profitability.'"

Exactly. Thankfully, the lawsuit says that Grushevski isn't trying to stop the restaurant from hiring Hooters Girls.

According to the lawsuit, Grushevski applied in person at a Corpus Christi Hooters, where the manager told him that the restaurant - locally and nationally - doesn't hire men as waiters. The lawsuit calls Hooters "brazen" for denying men the Hooters Girl right, and says that Grushevski didn't want to be a Hooters Girl, he simply wanted to be a food server.

In 1997, Hooters paid seven Chicago men $2 million after they filed a similar lawsuit. As a result of the settlement, the position of kitchen and bartender were deemed "gender neutral."

Hair Balls couldn't reach Grushevski or his lawyer, and a Hooters spokeswoman (no spokesman?!) hasn't responded either. We'll post an update as soon as we hear back from either.

Update: Alexis Aleshire, a spokeswoman for Hooters, e-mailed us some information about another federal lawsuit that eventually determined that in order to be a Hooters Girl, you must be a woman.

Aleshire also included a comment from Mike McNeil, vice president of marketing for Hooters of America: "The good news is that when this happened the last time, Hooters benefitted from an avalanche of positive publicity and public support for keeping Hooters Girls, well, girls. If we lose this go around, you can next expect hairy legged guys in the Rockettes to line up and male models in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. You wonder why people just can't leave good things alone."

-- Paul Knight