A man who tried to apply for a job at Twin Peaks in Davie is now leading a class-action lawsuit arguing that the so-called "breastaurant" chain discriminates against men.
Rafael Ortiz of Hialeah claims that he was told by the manager on duty that he couldn’t fill out an application to become a server because those positions were for women only.
In case you’re unaware, Twin Peaks is in many ways similar to Hooters, except that it has a mountain-lodge theme. The waitresses wear red plaid crop tops and khaki shorts, and the chain’s motto is, “Eats, Drinks, Scenic Views.” Presumably, the views they’re referring to are not those of the Home Depot parking lot in Davie.
Ortiz has a history
Twin Peaks' spokesman Rick Van Warner said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit since the company had yet to be served a copy of the complaint. He added, “We are confident in our employment policies and proud of our longstanding track record of treating everyone fairly."
Does the class-action suit have a chance of winning? Well, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act says companies actually can discriminate on the basis of sex (as well as religion and national origin) so long as they can prove that any one of those factors is “a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise." Since the whole point of restaurants like Twin Peaks is that the waitresses are attractive women, the chain may be able to use this as a defense.
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It’s worked so far for Hooters: Although they’ve paid to settle a number of lawsuits, including the one filed by Ortiz, they’ve also been able to keep hiring an all-female waitstaff. If Twin Peaks follows their lead, Ortiz likely won’t be offered a job anytime soon, but he might be able to expect some financial compensation.
Since Ortiz, too, declined to comment, we’ll never know if he's in it for the cash. Perhaps this story is really about one man whose lifelong dream is to be a server at a breast-themed restaurant but who, sadly, keeps getting rejected at every turn.
You can read the full complaint below: