The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of an Arizona lesbian who said she experienced sex discrimination while working for Chili’s.
Hunter, an ex-host, expeditor and cook at a Phoenix, Arizona Chili’s, states the division manager offered a promotion on one condition: Dress more gender appropriate.
Instead of accepting the offer Hunter quit in protest, leaving a job she said she enjoyed and co-workers she considered family.
“I couldn’t continue to work at a place where my willingness to conform to a stereotype was more important than my job performance,” Hunter said.
ACLU senior staff attorney Ria Tabacco Mar cites a 1989 Supreme Court that was intended to help Hunter. In Price Waterhouse vs. Hopkins, the high court ruled in favor of a woman who was told her “professional” problems would be solved if only she would, “walk more femininely, talk more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled and wear jewelry.”
“The court recognized that Hopkins, a senior manager, was stuck between a rock and a hard place – out of a job because she was considered too ‘macho’ and out of a job if she wasn’t seen as macho enough,” writes Tabacco Mar, of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV project.
“We will not and do not tolerate discriminatory behavior at Chili’s,” the company stated.