Hooters fires worker for being victim of domestic violence.

// 6 January 2009

Remember how I was saying that the Hooters ethos is bad for its employees and bad for women in general? Well a branch of the breastaurant in Illinois has fired a waitress on the basis that bruises she received as a result of domestic violence rendered her unfit for work. Jezebel has the story:

On September 3rd, 2008, Sara Dye, a 27-year-old waitress, was told by General Manager Gina Sheedy that she could not work at Hooters while the bruises from her recent attack were still visible. Dye agreed to take a short leave to recover, but when she called the restaurant in late September about returning to work, she was told that she had been fired. The owner of the Davenport restaurant, Darren Taylor, claims that Dye was not fired, but also said “I don’t know any restaurateur who would want somebody totally bruised up waiting on his customers.” When asked in court about her inability to work after the attack, Dye said she understood the restaurants position, adding “my body appearance wasn’t up to par.”

No concern for her well-being or safety, oh no, just that her body would no longer be good enough for customers to feast their eyes on. Disgusting.

Comments From You

Alex // Posted 6 January 2009 at 8:05 pm

Well, yes the whole idea of Hooters is to objectify women, and thus not very good for the females who work there. The face that the woman was fired while on leave does not make this any better. Shame on the Hooters management for not trying to help their employee who was obviously a victim of abuse.

However, if we abstract ourselves from the location, and imagine it’s just a regular restaurant that does not exploit women, it would appear understandable that the management would not want to have their wait staff serve the customers with visible injuries on their faces and/or bodies.

Anne Onne // Posted 6 January 2009 at 9:04 pm

Yes, a restaurant would not want to have staff working in front of customers with lots of visible injuries. I can see the reasons behind this.

But it does not follow that the employee has to be sacked.

It would be perfectly possible for the establishment to show the employee their sincerest sympathy for their injuries and situation and offer them a couple of weeks of sick leave. That would be more than enough time for bruises and suchlike to disappear.

Should they have not stretched to such decency, they could have suggested that the bruises might be covered up with make-up. Surely the employee would prefer this to being fired.

Firing someone for being visibly injured is much like blaming them for their injuries. Yes, it’s unpleasant for customers to look at visible injuries, and I’m sure most wait staff would not want to present such a front (people get embarrassed by injuries as well as restaurants) and at the very least there should be some effort to meet the employee half way. After all, these injuries are short-lived. A few sick days or some make-up would do the trick, and certainly be kinder than firing an employee who is having a very bad time as it is.

But I forgot, apparently even kindness has to be economical. I can’t think why people sue places like this…

Kirsty // Posted 7 January 2009 at 8:16 am

I agree with the points above. She should have been granted sick leave, I can’t believe they fired her, especially in the circumstances.

I may be being naive but I don’t think that would happen in this country with our employment laws, but hey I could be proven wrong.

Caroline12 // Posted 7 January 2009 at 10:38 am

Giving her leave to recover seems reasonable enough (although one wonders if it was paid or unpaid) but sacking her? Nice work, “Hooters”.

(Stupidest, most obnoxious name for a restaurant I’ve ever heard. I was under the impression a hooter was a nose, but I’m guessing their staff are not hired for the size of their noses. As a slang word for breasts, it’s just horrid.)

Tammy/crypticfragments // Posted 7 January 2009 at 4:44 pm

as a woman, a former victim of domestic violence, and a compassionate soul, I find this story appalling…

I hope the company is being sued…but from Ms Dyers comments, it sounds like she actually agrees w/ their decision.

I have included a link to info on help for DV victims if anyone needs to get more info on how to help!

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