Twin Peaks was recently sued on allegations of harassment and gender discrimination.
A group of former Twin Peaks employees recently filed a federal lawsuit on allegations that their high-risk uniforms and a "system for classifying their bodies constituted discrimination and sex discrimination." The lawsuit was filed by 34 former employees in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Twin Peaks, a restaurant chain, is known for scantily clad waiters.
Graphic on discrimination in the workplace; Image courtesy of mohamed_hassan via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
According to the lawsuit, Twin Peaks "hunts young women at risk and is run very much like a commercial sex ring." The allegations include allegations that "managers at the start of each shift assess the tightness of the arms, stomachs, legs and backs of female waiters and assign them" tones "that determine who can serve the best areas of the restaurant. Those with low scores are told they are fat and some have been threatened with firing unless they lose weight. In addition, the suit argues that staff "have to work in lingerie or bikinis during special costume weeks and if they refuse, they don't work."
As a result, the treatment created an environment full of sexual harassment. Other employees even allegedly called waiters, and customers were allowed to "touch the female employees and say something to them without consequences". The suit states:
“Twin Peaks has developed an image in which it looks from the outside as if young women are happily working to reveal clothes and earn big tips in the process. The reality is that young women across America are being humiliated, abused, and exploited for the financial and sexual benefit of men. "
The lawsuit was filed two years after the filing of another location by Twin Peaks. "A small group of former Orland Park Twin Peaks employees filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a necessary first step in pursuing discrimination claims." Over time, several former employees came forward to file charges with the EEOC. In December 2019, the federal authorities granted them "the right to sue in court," said Tamara Holder, the plaintiff's attorney.
Last year, Twin Peaks, also referred to by some as "Breastaurant," "had 84 locations and sales of $ 335.8 million last year, despite 78 locations currently listed on its website." After years of booming sales, the restaurant chain has seen slow sales growth in recent years.
When Holder commented on the alleged discrimination and sexual harassment, she said she was “in the process of filing 18 separate complaints with the American Arbitration Association on behalf of former employees of restaurants in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida who were unable to join the state lawsuit because they signed arbitration agreements when they were hired by a large Twin Peaks franchisee. “She added that the latest lawsuit accuses Twin Peaks of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the American with Disabilities Act. We are looking for unspecified damage and back payments.
Twin Peaks has been hit by a federal suit over lingerie uniforms. The system of grading the body resulted in "rampant sexual harassment".
34 Twin Peaks employees are suing the Breastaurant chain, claiming there is a system for classifying their bodies and requiring them to wear bikinis and lingerie for the weeks of the “costume party”