Twenty-two women who work as cocktail waitresses (“Babes”) in an Atlantic City filed a suit against the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. The women argued that the casino treated them as sex objects who were forced to undergo frequent weigh-ins and were suspended when they gained more than 7 percent of the weight they were when they were hired.
The judge presiding over the case ruled in favor of the casino, saying, “The Borgata Babe program has a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to ‘sex objects’ to the Borgata’s patrons… Nevertheless, for the individual labeled a babe to become a sex object requires that person’s participation.” He cited the women’s signed statements agreeing to the 7 percent weight gain policy.
Richard Bernstein, a disability-rights attorney who has experience with similar cases said, “That’s a horrible ruling. You have to look at the far-reaching applications of it. You always have to look at a decision with a broad brush. That decision gives employers a tremendous power over people in the workplace.”