A New Jersey court has ruled that the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City has the right to regulate the weight of its cocktail waitresses, known as “Borgata Babes.”
The Borgata Casino has fired two of its Borgata Babes in the last few years due to their weight loss or gain, which, according to casino rules, cannot equal more than 7 percent of their body weight. Twenty-one Borgata Babes filed a lawsuit against the casino, claiming that 11 of their co-workers were treated unfairly by casino bosses because of their weight, reports the Daily Mail. While a New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the casino’s policy regarding the Babes’ weight is legal, Deborah Mains — attorney for the Borgata Babes — says that now a lower court will decide whether the 11 women in question were subject to a “hostile work environment.”
“Sexual objectification has been institutionalized and is being allowed to stand. It’s difficult to separate the harassment claims that the court is recognizing from the overall theory that the working environment is hostile because of the personal appearance standards.”
The Borgata Babes allege that they were mistreated by casino officials and co-workers, saying that they had been asked by supervisors if they were pregnant or were just getting fat, and that co-workers snorted like pigs at them.
According to North Jersey News, Joe Corbo, vice president and legal counsel for the Borgata Casino, says that he is happy with the court’s ruling, and that the weight regulations put on the Borgata Babes is not meant to be discriminatory to women. He adds that the rules regarding weight gain or loss are divulged to and agreed upon by all “costumed beverage servers” at the time they are hired.
“We have long held that Borgata’s personal appearance policy is fair and reasonable. We are pleased that the three appellate court judges agreed with prior rulings that our policy is lawful and non-discriminatory to women.”
The Borgata Babes — whose costumes include tight-fitting costumes, sheer stockings, and high heels — are an important part of the Borgata Casino’s brand and marketing. The casino even produces a Borgata Babes calendar, which happens to be one of the casino’s best-selling items every year.
What do you think about employers being legally allowed to set weight regulations for their employees? Does it set a dangerous precedence for regulations — or restrictions — regarding employee appearances, or, since the Borgata Babes knew the rules when they first signed on to work for the casino, are these rules completely acceptable? Sound off below.
[Image Credit: Don Murray/Getty Images]