Usually job candidates are turned away because they don’t have the right skill set or enough experience, but one California woman said she didn’t get a job because she doesn’t have the right body type.
Jennifer Rogers, of Palm Desert, Calif., claimed she didn’t get a job at the Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery in Palm Desert because a skirt that is part of the uniform there didn’t fit her. The 20-year-old made it through the application process but was turned away when it was time to try on the required “costume,” she told ABC News affiliate KESQ.
Rogers applied to be a “Kilt Girl” at the restaurant, which is scheduled to reopen in two weeks after being closed for a year and a half. The job is labeled entertainer/server on the company’s career site, which said applicants must “adhere to the established appearance guidelines,” and, “maintain a costume fit, as detailed in the appearance guidelines.”
“We have very specific costume requirements that the girls need to fill and they’re actually hired as entertainers, not as servers,” Bryan VanderMeer, general manager of the Palm Desert location, told KESQ.
“Kilt Girls are the cornerstone of the Tilted Kilt brand,” Tilted Kilt’s corporate office said in statement to ABCNews.com. “Tilted Kilt specifically hires females for the role of the Kilt Girl who fit our profile, which includes being attractive, intelligent and having outgoing personalities.
“Our hiring and employment practices are in full compliance with all laws,” the statement said. “We have three sizes of costumes and all applicants must conform to our costume guidelines to meet the expectations that our guests have for the brand. The Tilted Kilt girl image is an important part of our concept. Just like when a director is trying to cast parts for a movie, that is how we view our hiring process. We are screening for entertainers, not just servers. Tilted Kilt prides itself on hiring multi-faceted, intelligent servers, who not only fit the costume, but exemplify a personality that is friendly, courteous and customer oriented.”
The listing for the entertainer/server position noted, “We are entertainers first and servers second.”
But Rogers said she was just looking for a job
“Why should anyone have to look a certain way to work at a different place?” Rogers said. “It’s not fair.”
Although federal law prohibits hiring discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, there is nothing regarding body type. However, there is a clause that states employers may “admit or employ any individual in any such program, on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.”
The Tilted Kilt in Palm Desert held casting calls to find “Kilt Girls,” and although they feared it would be difficult to find girls to match the job description, they were pleased with the result.
“I have been definitely surprised; we’ve had a great turnout,” VanderMeer told KESQ. “We’ve had a lot more people than I expected who actually fill the requirements of this position, and we are really excited to bring them to the valley and show the valley what we have.”
The Tilted Kilt has 65 franchises in 22 states with more opening later this year. The Celtic-themed sports pub and restaurant launched in 2003 and the waitresses have worn sexy tartan outfits since the start.