Phillips quit after the slapping incident at the bar, and her lawyers are seeking class-action status on behalf of some 1,000 “Hooters Girls.” The lawsuit states, “Hooters put its female employees at risk of sexual harassment through its uniforms it required them to wear and the marketing of its restaurants.” Phillips said she was aware that her job required her to wear shorts and a t-shirt, “but in return,” Phillips stated, “Hooters agreed to protect me from sexual harassment. I was not protected, and when I tried to complain, I was told I had no federal rights.” The restaurant claims that the signing of the Hooters policy means employees give up their right to pursue sexual harassment claims. Phillips was sued by Hooters because Phillips did not agree to arbitrate under the company’s policy. Lawyers want to prohibit the company from using its arbitration policy.
Phillips is seeking back pay and benefits, reinstatement and compensatory and punitive damages. Another former Hooters waitress in Madison, WI filed a federal lawsuit on the same day, alleging that she was fired for complaining about sexual harassment from male employees.
The phone number for Hooters employees to call for more information about joining Phillips’ suit is 1-800-749-3141.