Hooters Gets Sued Again!

Hate to say I told you so, but they had it coming. When will they learn that discrimination is unlawful?

Man sues Hooters, claims gender discrimination
Suite challenges policy of female-only servers

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Corpus Christi man is suing Hooters, accusing the restaurant chain of gender discrimination for not hiring him as a food server in a filing that attempts to reopen an issue that was settled 11 years ago.

Nikolai Grushevski's suit acknowledges the earlier agreement, which established that the chain's signature Hooters Girls would continue to be the restaurants' only food servers and established gender neutral jobs. But the suit challenges the policy, saying it still is discriminatory, and invites other men to seek a class action suit.

He asserts in the suit that when he applied to be a waiter at the local restaurant in May he was not hired because of his gender. The suit says that even though food servers are referred to exclusively as "Hooters Girls," the job should not be limited only to women.

"Just as Southwest Airlines attempted nearly three decades ago with stewardesses, the waiter's position addressed herein is being limited to females by an employer..." the suit states.

Grushevski says in the suit he isn't trying to prevent the company from employing Hooters Girls but wants to ensure that men also have the opportunity to work as wait staff.

In 1997, Hooters agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a group of men. That class-action settlement allowed the chain to continue to have only Hooters Girls serve food and beverages.

Hooters also agreed to create gender-neutral positions such as bartender, host and kitchen staff.

Grushevski's suit, filed Thursday in federal court, seeks an unspecified amount of money including for emotional and punitive damages. It also asks the court to grant an injunction to stop Hooters from "discriminating against male applicants for the waiters position."

An e-mail seeking comment from Hooters officials was not immediately returned.

Attempts to reach Grushevski were unsuccessful.

Houston-based attorney Martin A. Shellist, who represents Grushevski, said he wanted to make it clear his client didn't sue to become a Hooters Girl.

"My client wants to be a waiter. He does not want to be a Hooters Girl," Shellist said. "He wants to serve food and earn tips, and why can't he?"

By Mary Ann Cavazos (Contact)
Originally published 11:37 a.m., January 13, 2009
Updated 12:07 a.m., January 14, 2009


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