ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — More former cocktail waitresses at Resorts Casino Hotel are suing the gambling hall, claiming they were fired because they were deemed insufficiently sexy in the new, revealing costumes that female beverage servers have to wear.
Attorney Gloria Allred said the latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Atlantic City on behalf of nine former beverage servers who were told they were fired from the casino because they did not “meet uniform requirements.”
It follows a similar suit brought by other former Resorts servers in March, and another by former employees who performed other tasks and were let go when the casino changed hands in December.
“They were fired because they got older, because as beautiful as they are, they didn’t met someone’s definition of ‘sexy,”’ said Virginia Hardwick, a New Jersey attorney participating in the case.
The latest lawsuit mirrors allegations made in the March suit that older servers were told they had to audition for their jobs in the new skimpy flapper costumes, were given costumes too small for them and were photographed in awkward poses that emphasized body fat. A panel put together by an outside modeling agency recommended who should stay and who should go based on photographs of the auditions, according to court documents.
Margie DePamphilis, 54, had been with Resorts since it opened in 1978. The Northfield resident said she had excellent attendance and an “exceptional” job performance rating.
“That is why I could not believe that they suddenly fired me,” she said. “I was in a state of shock because working there was my life, and I did nothing to deserve this. I feel betrayed, sad, angry, hurt and I am emotionally devastated. How could they do this to me?”
Elsa Hernandez, a 57-year-old grandmother of two from Pleasantville, worked at Resorts for 12 years.
“I feel used,” she said. “I feel that I have been thrown out like a piece of trash.”
Marie Stewart, 66, of Margate, noted that the veteran servers were made to train younger new hires—then fired once the newcomers were up to speed. “I was shocked,” she said. “I couldn’t even talk. I don’t see how they could just disregard us as women and as human beings.”
The casino issued a statement similar to one it put out in March when the initial costume-related lawsuit was filed.
“Resorts is confident that it has acted in accordance with all legal requirements in its employment decisions,” the statement said. “As we indicated before, cocktail servers were given individual consideration and the selection process was conducted in a fair and objective manner. We empathize with the cocktail servers who lost their jobs, and gave them hiring preference in other open positions at Resorts. Some took advantage of this offer and some did not.”
Allred encouraged Atlantic City casino patrons to take their business to one of the city’s 10 other casinos.
“Maybe (Resorts owners) think they can profit by using young women as bait to hook in young men to buy drinks, but it’s wrong,” she said. “Women are not just sex objects. They are real human beings.”
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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)