BFOQ Arguments In Hiring Practices

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin. It forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring and firing, compensation, promotion, and benefits. However, there are exceptions to this law, mainly in the form of bona fide occupational qualifications, otherwise known as BFOQ’s.
Title VII permits an employer to discriminate on the basis of “religion, sex, or national origin in those instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise.” This means that
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Hooters specifically hires women to provide “vicarious sexual entertainment,” a role that, according to the company, men are unable to fulfill. Because of this there have been many instances of men filing suit against Hooters for their hiring practices. As the result of a class action lawsuit against Hooters in Chicago, the restaurant agreed to offer gender neutral, front of house positions.
Personally, I do not see anything wrong with maintaining a woman only policy for Hooter’s servers. When you enter a Hooter’s restaurant you don’t expect to be waited on by a man, and Hooter’s entire brand is based around the idea of women in tight shirts and short shorts waiting on your party. Incorporating male servers would detract from the Hooter’s brand, and likely hurt the amount of business that the restaurant brings in. I believe that, because of this, the BFOQ policy of Title VII accurately applies to Hooters and their policy of hiring only women as
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Sexual harassment claims in violation of Title VII were first addressed in Meritor Savings Bank v Vinson. This case marked the Supreme Court’s recognition of certain forms of sexual harassment as a violation of the Civil Rights act of 1964 Title VII, and established what forms of conduct could be seen as unlawful and in what instances an employer would be held liable. After being fired from her job at Meritor Savings Bank, Michelle Vinson sued the vice president of the bank alleging that he had coerced her to have sexual relations with him and made demands for sexual favors while at work. Vinson stated that she had sex with the vice president over forty times and testified that he had touched her in public, exposed himself to her, and raped her multiple times. Vinson argued that these conditions created a hostile working environment and that they were a form of unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights
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