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Two former New York City waitresses will soon be meeting with a jury. A state appeals court has agreed that Kristen McRedmond and Alexandria Lipton can sue South Place Restaurant & Bar for retaliation and discrimination. They claim they were fired after complaining about the bar's "no fatties" policy.
Managers are accused of forcibly weighing female employees and then posting the results on the Internet.
The bar's owner instead claims the women were fired for breaking rules, but the appeals court found the evidence to be suspicious. The judges believe a jury should decide whether the women should collect the $15 million asked for in the "no fatties" lawsuit.
Before you start thinking that Kristen McRedmond and Alexandria Lipton are suing for weight discrimination, consider the other facts. Between 2004 and 2006, McRedmond claims her manager touched her backside and breasts, made sexual comments and voiced opinions about the way she looked, reports the New York Daily News. At one point, he allegedly lifted her onto a scale after she refused to be weighed.
In June 2006, management allegedly required all women to be weighed, explains Gothamist. If a female employee refused, they'd look at her and guess. All of these numbers reportedly ended up in a spreadsheet on the net.
Soon after, the women complained. They were fired.
Any good NYC discrimination attorney will tell you that the "no fatties" lawsuit isn't really about weight. It's about sexual harassment and sex discrimination. The bar is accused of singling out female employees for negative treatment. Management is accused of making sexual comments, engaging in inappropriate touching, and harassing women because they don't fit the stereotype of a perfect woman.
It's also about retaliation. Employers can't fire employees who complain about discriminatory activity.
So don't confuse the "no fatties" lawsuit with a weight discrimination suit. Kristen McRedmond and Alexandria Lipton will likely tell you it's about a lot more.