The Scantily Clad and Sexual Harassment

In the case of Schiavo, et al. vs. Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa, the appellate court recently handed down an opinion about the “Borgata Babes,” female employees of the Borgata Casino Hotel who were compelled to maintain a certain appearance.

These individuals claimed that making them wear certain scantily clad outfits, and maintaining a designated weight – in proportion to the women’s height – resulted in sexual discrimination, even though they all signed a written agreement consenting to do so. The court held that the dress and weight standards in themselves did not result in illegal discrimination, but that a number of these women who recently gave birth and suffered weight gains resulting from the pregnancy might have viable claims under the Law Against Discrimination.

Pregnancy and subsequent weight gain is unique to women, and for their employer to take any adverse job action against them as a result could be deemed harassment based on the women’s gender. Thus the lawsuit against the Borgata on those grounds was allowed to continue.