Two women and a man who formerly worked at Twin Peaks Restaurant in suburban Chicago have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the chain claiming ownership wasn’t completely honest when describing the revealing pieces of clothing they would have to wear while working at the breasteraunt. The women, who worked at the Orland Park location, claim they were routinely lined up, touched, and judged on their physical fitness where the servers deemed the best looking would be assigned prized shifts and better money-making opportunities. The man, a busboy, alleges he was discriminated against him because he is gay.
One of the women, Sarah Blaylock, told the Tribune that she didn’t sign up to work at a strip club. They filed the lawsuit in February with the EEOC, according to the newspaper. The women were OK with their initial expectations. They though they were only going wear tight tops showing their cleavage and midriffs and khaki shorts. They didn’t expect that ownership would mandate them to wear lingerie, which they had to do for events such as St. Patrick’s Day parties. Twin Peaks owners told the Tribune that the lawsuit was baseless.
The women claim that management judged the staff like a scummy beauty pageant, assigning scores for their stomachs, arms, and legs. Management allegedly would pinch their stomachs then post their scores. Staff would deliver disparaging remarks that destroyed their self esteem, according to the plaintiffs. They were also fat shamed and not given meal breaks, according to the lawsuit.
The lingerie led Orland Park police to issue citations against serves at the restaurant for indecent exposure, according to the Trib. The women were showing too much derriere, according to cops. A plaintiff’s worried about the citation coming up on background checks while she looks for other jobs. Meanwhile, the busboy claims that co-workers berated him with homophobic names once they learned he was gay.
The Trib spoke with attorneys who believe that Twin Peaks is vulnerable, given the momentum of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. They also pointed out that this is a complicated matter. Places like Twin Peaks, with 81 restaurants across the country, and Hooters can defend themselves by claiming that the revealing clothing falls under “bona fide occupational qualifications.” That’s how breasteraunts can legally justify all-female serving staffs.