Hooters likes boobs, not bruises

A waitress alleges she was fired for being a victim of domestic violence.

Tracy Clark-Flory
January 7, 2009 1:59AM (UTC)

Have you always wanted to be a Hooters Girl? Well, your dreams could come true if you: 1) are pneumatic, 2) can enthusiastically take hot wings orders in a scoop-neck tank top and orange booty shorts, and 3) aren't the victim of violent crime -- bruises might distract from your boobs! That last requirement is according to a former Hooters waitress, who claims she was fired after a domestic violence incident that landed her in the hospital.

After the attack, Sara Dye was left with two black eyes, bruises on her face and a lopsided haircut (her attacker violently sheared her hair), reports the Des Moines Register (via Jezebel). At her manager's request, the 27-year-old agreed to take a few weeks off from the Hooters restaurant in Davenport, Iowa, to recover. Dye says, "My body appearance wasn't up to par."


The restaurant's assistant manager Michelle Duvall explains that a Hooters Girl's hair "needs to be styled as if you're going out on a big date on a Saturday night" -- not as if your date has attacked you with a pair of scissors. General manager Gina Sheedy adds that the Hooters "handbook states you have to have a glamorous appearance. It doesn't actually say, 'Bruises on your face are not allowed.' It does talk about the all-American cheerleader look." (What isn't all-American about domestic violence?)

But even after recovering from the attack, Dye says she called the restaurant and was informed by a co-worker that she had been fired. The restaurant denies having fired her, but a judge saw things differently and on Monday granted Dye unemployment benefits, noting that an "inability to work due to bruises" is not a valid firing offense. In other words: She wasn't asking for it.

Over my holiday vacation, I actually considered visiting a Hooters restaurant for the first time, reasoning that it would be an interesting "cultural experience" (also: I was hungry and it was there) -- but it turned out it was closed. Now, I'm feeling quite OK with having missed out. Their hot wings may be delicious, but this story is damn unappetizing.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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