Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Dislike your job? It could be worse—The New York Post reported yesterday that two ex-waitresses of Manhattan’s Sutton Place Bar and Restaurant are suing the establishment (to the tune of $15 million) for tracking their weight and forcing them to hop on the scale at work. One of the plaintiffs, Kristen McRemond, 27, indicated that “she physically resisted when a beefy manager tried to pick her up to get her on the scale while another manager looked on.” It seems that only female employees were subjected to public weigh-ins (or criticized for their choice of foods when dining themselves). The Post reports that the “waitresses' individual weights were tracked on a computer spreadsheet - and the results placed on a Web site that tracked the weights of waitresses in other establishments in the city.”
McRemond, and her co-plaintiff, Alexandria Lipton, 25 (featured above), are accusing Sutton Place’s owners and managers of sexual harassment and illegal firing—both McRedmond and Lipton were axed after vocalizing disagreement about the weigh-ins. As you may imagine, the restaurant’s lawyer has denied these allegations, but has not provided explanation as to why McRemond and Lipton were let go.
While the allegations here are pretty straightforward, it begs the question of how many other workplaces engage in less-subtle (but still discriminatory) weight-related practices. I hope that the current suit raises consciousness about weight discrimination, particularly against women. A woman’s body is not a commodity, a product to be sold—and if the owners of this establishment disagree, then, clearly, they’re in the wrong business.