Lesbian Quits Chili’s Over Dress Code


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 Chilis.

“I’m out of a job because my boss didnt think I look like a woman,” reads the headline of a statement by Meagan Hunter.

Hunter, an ex-host, expeditor and cook at a Phoenix, Arizona Chilis, 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 couldnt 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 decision 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 wasnt seen as macho enough,” writes Tabacco Mar, of the ACLUs LGBT and HIV project.

 In a press release, Chili’s parent company, Brinker International contends absolutely no mention was made of any need to conform to gender-specific clothing.” The company stated Hunter was offered a promotion to the certified shift leader program and feedback was given about manager dress code guidelines that apply to all regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

We will not and do not tolerate discriminatory behavior at Chili’s,” the company stated.

Chili’s is a corporate restaurant chain with locations around the world. The first Chilis opened in 1975 in Dallas, where an old post office was converted into a funky little joint named Chilis.



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