20-year-old Jennifer Rogers from Palm Desert, California applied for a waitress position and was offered the job after attaching a picture to her resume.The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery had advertised that they were looking for kilt girls, that had to meet specific physical criteria. Rogers went through the entire application process and was given a uniform to wear on what was supposed to be her first day.
When the time came to try on the costume, she realized the branded kilt was too small for her. She was immediately denied the waitress position, the Huffington Post reports.
"Because the skirt was a size too small, they said that I could not work there," Rogers said.
The sports bar is set to open in two weeks, and have already hired 140 people. General Manager Bryan VanderMeer explains his decision not to hire anyone that doesn't fit the “kilt girl” mold:
"We have very specific costume requirements that the girls need to fill and they're actually hired as entertainers not as servers," he says.
"Just like when a director is trying to cast parts for a movie, that is how we view our hiring process. […] The Tilted Kilt girl image is an important part of our concept,” VanderMeer added.
The "Kilt Girl" job is very coveted, with hundreds turning up to “audition” for the part. In fact, the Tilted Kilt Pub, with 65 franchises in 22 different states, prides itself in hiring waiters and waitresses based on appearance. "Best Looking Sports Pub You've Ever Seen," they boast on their website.
Federal law only protects from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and does not mention anything about body type.
Companies are allowed to select personnel based on physical criteria, as it constitutes "a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise."
Rogers believes that discrimination based on weight is, nonetheless, discrimination. “Why should anyone have to look a certain way to work at a different place? [...] It's not fair," she says.