Hooters in Anaheim and Costa Mesa Play Legal Bait and Switch With Sex and Kids, NOW Complains

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Hooters restaurants in Anaheim and Costa Mesa routinely violate local and state laws regarding sexual entertainment and children, alleges the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Orange County's NOW chapter is among four across the state that have
filed formal complaints with their respective district attorneys. The
Orange County District Attorney's Office has not yet disclosed if it
will launch and investigation.

The complaints boil down to this: to comply with the law, Hooters must either ban kids or sexual entertainment.

“Marketing to young children and advertising as a family restaurant
while in reality being nothing but a provider of 'vicarious sexual
entertainment' amounts to sexual exploitation and attempts to legitimize
sex discrimination and hostile work environments for women,” says Patty
, president of California NOW, in a statement released Thursday by the organization

“Every local county or city with a Hooters should consider a ban on
marketing sexual entertainment to minors,” she continues, “and require that sexual
entertainment businesses check IDs at the door.”

NOW's complaints–also filed in Sacramento, San Bruno and San Francisco–break down as so:

  • In
    the late 90's, Hooters, Inc. told the Equal Employment Opportunity
    Commission that their restaurants' main function is not to provide food
    but, and this is allegedly according to company executives at the time,
    “vicarious sexual entertainment.” 

  • The chain has used this designation to avoid compliance with regulations against sexual discrimination in the workplace.
  • Hooters advertises itself as a family restaurant.
  • Hooters does not comply with regulations for providers of sexual entertainment.

” It's time to end this legal bait and switch,” reads the NOW statement, which also includes this:

a typical evening, Hooters, Inc. serves children younger than 18 years
of age and offers child menus, high chairs and booster seats.  They also
display and sell products of prurient nature, including t-shirts in
child sizes with statements such as “Future Hooters Girl.”  According to
Hooter's own employment material, a “Hooters Girl” is employed as a
sexual entertainer and as part of her employment can expect to be
subjected to various sexual jokes by customers and such potential
contacts as buttocks slaps.  Hooters of America Inc. v Phillips, Case
173 F3d 933 (4/8/99). 

The NOW complaints call on
government authorities receiving them to either force Hooters, Inc. to
comply with EEOC prohibitions against sexual discrimination (if they
wish to be a family restaurant that serves children) or comply with
regulations covering providers of sexual entertainment (which prohibit
children from the premises).

So far, Hooters, Inc. has not reacted publicly to NOW's complaints.

2 Replies to “Hooters in Anaheim and Costa Mesa Play Legal Bait and Switch With Sex and Kids, NOW Complains”

  1. First off before state law has been changed or even reconsidered, how can you possibly request for children to be banned from a place of business that provides both food and alcohol to its customers of age along with any minors that accompany, identical practices to countless bars and restaurants that serve all ages of our customers from toddlers to senior citizens.

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