How heavy is too heavy to serve hot wings at Hooters? Cassie Smith, a pretty 20-year-old who works at one of the chain’s Detroit restaurants, says she was put on “weight probation” by her bosses — although most people walking beside her on the street wouldn’t consider the blonde overweight.
Cassie, who is almost five foot, eight inches tall and weighs 132 pounds, claims her supervisors and two female Hooters reps from the company’s Atlanta headquarters told her she would need to slim down if she wanted to keep the waitressing job she’s had for the past two years.
“These women proceeded to explain to me that I had 30 days and they would give me a free gym membership, and if I didn’t improve within those 30 days I would be separated from the company. If I improved a little bit I would get 30 more days, and if I improved completely they would leave me alone,” Smith said.
I was horrified. I was completely heartbroken. I was humiliated.”
Cassie — who is a size X-Small, mind you — has hired an attorney to represent her in a possible weight discrimination lawsuit against Hooters.
“I don’t want other girls to have to go through this. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this. If I could’ve gone back and not worked there for two years to take back that feeling, I would do it.”
Hooters stands by it’s remarks about Cassie’s weight, arguing that federal law permits them to judge appearance as part of employee efficiency — as is similar practice with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and the Radio City Rockettes.
According to The Hooters Girl blogger, the chain has historically avoided such lawsuits by implementing a practice that all staff must be able to fit into the uniforms provided by the company. However, Hooters does not provide uniforms in sizes bigger than a medium.