September 16, 2020
A former server at Chili’s Bar and Grill claims that she was denied a promotion because she didn’t wear “gender appropriate” clothes.
Meagan Hunter (35) was a server at Chili’s Bar and Grill in Phoenix, Arizona for 2 years until she decided to apply for two of the open positions, bartender and manager in May 2018. Hunter tells Yahoo lifestyle, “I worked hard, I loved the company, and my co-workers were my family, I saw myself with a long-term career at Chili’s.”
Servers wear standard-issue Chili’s T-shirts and blue jeans as uniforms, so when she went for the interview for the position of manager she wore buttoned-down shirt and slacks, a typical outfit for company managers. Hunter’s general manager later asked her to talk outside and showed his concern about her outfit. “He told me the district operator said my clothes were baggy and I was inappropriately dressed for an interview,” Hunter tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Few weeks later, her manager allegedly told her, “they want to offer you the job but they’re really concerned about what you’re going to wear.”Offended by this comment, Hunter asked, “Are you telling me that I need to have my breasts hanging out to be successful in your company?” To which her manager replied, “No, not in those words”. When she asked why she can’t wear an outfit just like his, he replied, “That’s for boys.”
Hunter finished her “terrible” shift for that day and went home to think about what happened with her. “What I wear has nothing to do with my work ethic,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “The next day I quit”.
After leaving her job, her co-workers informed her that her boss was not even considering her for the position of bartender because he “didn’t want a gay girl behind the bar” as it wouldn’t attract “right kind” of customers.
The ACLU and Hunter filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and are waiting to hear the results of an investigation.
Chili’s issued a statement in response to the case, “Meagan Hunter was not denied a promotion at Chili’s, but instead was identified as a high-potential Team Member and offered the opportunity to be promoted into our Certified Shift Leader program to take the next step on her career journey. Feedback was given to her about our manager dress code guidelines, which apply to all managers regardless of gender identification or sexuality, but absolutely no mention was made of any need to conform to gender-specific clothing.
We will not and do not tolerate discriminatory behaviour at Chili’s. We stand committed to the tens of thousands of Chili Heads from all walks of life who represent what we stand for each day. To all of our Guests, fans, former and current Team Members — we love you just as you are, and we intend to show that every single day.”
Hunter has found a new job of waiting tables at a café called “First Watch”. But she has taken a salary cut, and as a new employee, she has to prove her worth there. Hunter told Yahoo Lifestyle that before all this went down she was planning to buy a new house for her and her 10-year-old son, but now she is unable to do that.” She said, “It’s been a difficult time.”
Source – thisisinsider.com, huffingtonpost.com, theblaze.com, aclu.org, yahoo.lifestyle.com