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Judges Rule Casino Waitresses Can Be Fired for Gaining Weight

Cocktail waitresses were forced to weigh-in regularly and faced suspension if they didn't meet Borgata's standards.

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Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Weight discrimination policies for cocktail waitresses are alive and well at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. The New Jersey state appeals court ruled on Thursday that the casino's appearance standards for the so called "Borgata Babes" are legal and may be strictly enforced, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The court's ruling does allow 11 of the 21 waitresses in the lawsuit to pursue their cases regarding how those rules are enforced.

The case originally went to court in 2013 with the waitresses arguing that the casino viewed them predominantly as sex objects, Time reports. They further claimed that the casino forced them to regularly weigh in and that they were suspended if they gained more than 7 percent of their initial weight. The original judge dismissed the case without trial, finding that the casino's job description made clear what was expected of Borgata Babes. Despite the loss, this appeals court ruling overturns the original decision and allows the 11 woman who had "documented medical conditions or post-pregnancy conditions" to pursue claims of "sexual harassment hostile work environment discrimination."

Unfortunately, woman in the restaurant industry face high rates of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Last fall, The Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC) released a 34-page report detailing the high prevalence of sexual harassment in the industry, both within the workplace and by customers. Approximately 90 percent of female restaurant workers experience some type of sexual harassment, the report confirms. Fortunately, there is some justice in this world. A cocktail waitress in Pittsburgh recently won a $1 million lawsuit against the Rivers Casino for violating its zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy.