A national sports pub chain, with a location in our own New Jersey, is being sued for hiring discrimination after an applicant was denied employment. She had completed the majority of the employment process, but was turned down for the job when she tried on the required apparel for the position -- a short kilt-style skirt, which was a size too small for her. Despite her apparently stellar performance throughout the rest of the application process, she was turned away from the position.
According to the company, they "specifically hire females for the role... who fit our profile, which includes being attractive, intelligent and having outgoing personalities." The company's website does list as part of the job qualifications that all female staff "must maintain a costume fit," so assumedly, they could fire an employee who no longer fit into the costume or deny employment to an applicant who did not fit in the first place. This case brings up a serious issue in the law: size or appearance is not protected by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which prohibits hiring discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, sex or national origin.
Often in employment law, the focus is on workplace discrimination after being hired, or on wrongful termination. Employment discrimination like this case is also important, not only because it denies someone the ability to gain employment, but also because there are factors in the hiring process that may be able to be used discriminatorily that are not currently addressed under employment law.
For people who feel that they were denied employment for a discriminatory factor, speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with employment law, especially discrimination and retaliation, can present options to pursue legal action.
Source: ABCNews.go.com. "Woman Who Can't Fit Into Skirt Denied Job as 'Kilt Girl.'" ABC News Internet Ventures, 11 Oct 2012.