A former server at Chili’s Grill & Bar says she wasn’t promoted because she didn’t dress “gender appropriate.”
For two years, Meagan Hunter, 35, waited tables at Chili’s in Phoenix, Ariz., until she applied for a promotion in May 2018. “I worked hard, I loved the company, and my co-workers were my family,” Hunter tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I saw myself with a long-term career at Chili’s.”
Hunter was interested in two different positions, bartender and manager, and in June, for the manager role, she interviewed wearing a buttoned-down shirt and slacks, a typical outfit for company managers. (Servers wear standard-issue Chili’s T-shirt and dark-blue jeans).
Hunter’s general manager later asked her to talk outside. “He told me the district operator said my clothes were baggy and I was inappropriately dressed for an interview,” Hunter tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Seven weeks later, Hunter’s boss allegedly told her, “They want to offer you the job, but they’re really concerned about what you’re going to wear.” In a blog post published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Hunter said her boss wanted her to look “gender appropriate.”
“I said, ‘Does that mean I should have my breasts hanging out to succeed in your company?’ and he backtracked and said, ‘No, not in those words,'” Hunter tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I asked why I couldn’t wear an outfit like his, and he said, ‘That’s for boys.'”