California Waitress Sues Over Skimpy-Uniform Requirement

Courtney Scaramella sues uniform waitress
Waitress Sues Over Management's Skimpy Dress Code


Waitresses dressed in skimpy outfits may be the rage at the moment, but a food server in Southern California has put her foot down, suing her former employer for sexual harassment and for requiring her to wear short, plaid skirts while working.

Courtney Scaramella, who worked at O'Hara's bar in Los Angeles' Westwood neighborhood, claims that co-owner Jack Bendetti and general manager Ronald "Ram" McDonnel enforced the dress code as a way of increasing profits, ostensibly from male patrons, the LA Weekly reports.

"It wasn't fair to me, it wasn't fair to the other girls who were working there," Scaramella told Los Angeles TV station KTLA (via The Huffington Post).

"Everyone was offended by it. Nobody wanted to do it, but unfortunately, jobs are hard to come by right now and some people were stuck," the 23-year-old said.

Scaramella said that she gave her new skirt a try for a few days before deciding not to wear it, which resulted in her termination, according to her attorney, Toni Jaramilla (pictured at the far right of the accompanying photo, with Scaramella).

"Thereafter, her hours were cut," Jaramilla told the TV station. "She was not given the same shifts that would allow her to gain good tips and income, and then she was terminated."

An attorney representing O'Hara's owners said that Scaramella's lawsuit has no merit and that she wasn't fired. The attorney claimed Scaramella quit her job for unknown reasons, according to KTLA's report.

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In her complaint, Scaramella said that she feared drunk customers could easily tear off the skirt, which was held in place by Velcro. The court document also note instances in which Bendetti offended the waitress, the Daily Bruin reports.

Those instances include one in which Bendetti allegedly required bartenders rate female customers on a 10-point scale and then give a free shot of alcohol to the women given a score of six or higher.

Having waitresses dress in revealing uniforms is a strategy some restaurants are using to boost business. The Associated Press reports that the top three chains behind trendsetter Hooters have seen sales grow by 30 percent or more in the last year.



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355 Comments

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n45

She still needed to follow policy. The owners are there to make money not deal with someone's personal issues. Sexy sell to the patrons Just like girl's nite at bars does. It is to increase paying traffic.

January 31 2013 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
glhshelby

the bar has the right to change the rules how they see fit,however since she was already employed they should have let her dress how she liked. The tips would have changed her mind eventually

July 24 2012 at 5:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
afriendtoo

As for me I am not in favor of sex and food together. But to each his own.....I would not eat there but we have thousands of soldiers who have died for our right to have a business and make a profit and provide jobs for qualified employees. Clearly stated this girl was not qualified to make the business a profit.

July 23 2012 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
afriendtoo

An employer has the right to make what ever changes necessary to keep the business profitable and if an employee can not learn or change fast enough then they are not profit makers to the company. This is true in more than 50% of marriages in American. If you don;t carry your end of the load then people are put out the door
You do not have a right to a job......you do have a right however to make yourself valuable and make a job for yourself...... this issue is not about gender or morality or becoming a sex object. Had the employer not made necessary changes to continue to make profit there would be just another one of the 10s of thousands of closed resturants across america.

July 23 2012 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ace

The answer is simple. The owner makes the rules. If those rules don't conflict with the law then the employee is ok to discuss it with the boss but other then that.... they can vote with thier feet.....out the door. The owner is the one who takes all the risks, puts up all the money ect. and therefore makes the rules. The owner should tell her to make her decission, follow the rules or quit and for her to make up her mind fast because there are 15 other people standing in line wanting her job.

July 18 2012 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
USA

Im with Snoopy....their are 1,000,000 other women that put themselves and pride themselves every single day, they can all say NO, but they choose not too. This girl could have just quit right away, instead, more girls may loose there jobs if this gets negative publicity, And my Playboy books look just fine on my shelf thank you!!

July 02 2012 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
USA

She knew the dress code was changing, she could have quit at anytime. There are alot of women who will are very willing to dress and like to be rated, obviously this job was not for her life ethics. Not everyone can be made happy, sucks it puts somebody on the unemployment list, but its their bar and there rules, work by it or leave.

July 02 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to USA's comment
erikamo

She should not be put in a position to have to quit her job because they are choosing to objectify her. That is the definition of sexual discrimination. You just proved her case.

July 03 2012 at 5:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to erikamo's comment
docmetcalf1955

you need to read the definition of sxual discrimination.

July 23 2012 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
wdcarterjr

Companies should not be allowed to change any aspect of their business without 100% approval of the employees.

July 01 2012 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to wdcarterjr's comment
chrissf4529

If she had been hired knowing the dress code, I would say she has no case. But, this was a clear case of changing the rules after she was employed. Hooters, you know the dress code before you apply. The fans? Really absurd

June 28 2012 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MarineVet

It's the owners right to decide what strategies he chooses to bring in business and frankly those ladies that bought into it will definately benefit from increased tips and business. This is why people can quit jobs, no one is forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to... Just go find a job somewhere else. So sorry, tired of American's Whining about every little thing...

Pull your big girl panties up and move on... sniveling idiots...

June 28 2012 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MarineVet's comment
erikamo

You should not have to quit your job because someone has decided to make you wear a ridiculously short skirt and stand near a fan that exposes your butt. If the tables were turned and the bar decided to cater to gay men, and all the men had to suddenly wear Speedos to work, would you feel the same way or is this only when women are being objectified. You should not have to quit your job because someone wants to exploit you. If it was the dress code when she was hired, that would be different, but to change to something that drastic, she clearly has a case.

July 03 2012 at 5:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to erikamo's comment
docmetcalf1955

she has no case, she will lose, you are WRONG

July 23 2012 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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