Business Ethics
Answer ONE of the following five questions.<br /><br />
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5. Analyze “EEOC’s Politically Correct Crusade Against Hooters a Wasted Effort,” Nation’s Restaurant News, December 4, 1995. Incorporate the questions at the end into your answer.<br /><br />
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“Why would government regulators laid off by Congress give a hoot about Hooters? That was a question many people were asking last month after the Atlanta-based Hooters chain staged a rally in Washington to mock gender-discrimination charges leveled against its restaurants by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. … <br /><br />
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Indeed, Hooters officials argued, with a 100,000-case backlog of job discrimination allegations awaiting action, why was the EEOC apparently telling the chain to devastate its work force of scantily clad “Hooters Girls” by giving 40 percent of their jobs to male servers? And why had the agency, after a nearly four-year-long investigation, ordered the company to pay more than $22 million into a hypothetical back-pay fund that the EEOC would use to compensate men claiming to have been victimized by Hooters’ women-only server hiring policy?<br /><br />
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After all, hadn’t Hooters lawyer Patricia Casey explained to the agency that “the business of Hooters is predominantly the provision of entertainment, diversion and amusement based on the sex appeal of the Hooters Girls”? And hadn’t she invoked the same exemptions in the 1964 Civil Rights Act that Playboy Clubs had successfully cited in repeated court victories over similar hiring discrimination charges? … Defiant chain officials, who vowed noncompliance with the EEOC orders, pointed out that the agency’s stance was as logical as ordering Radio City Music Hall to hire male Rockettes for its famed chorus line. <br /><br />
The other side of the argument, of course, is that the EEOC is merely using civil-rights statutes to ensure equal protection under the law for out-of-work men. Men have in fact lodged official complaints and sued the chain over alleged hiring discrimination.<br /><br />
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But critics of the EEOC suggest that the agency’s agenda is motivated by knee-jerk feminism and an unofficial policy of politically correct’ social engineering to purge the restaurant industry of perceived sexism. Certainly Hooters – some have called it the “Playboy Club for rednecks” – has angered countless feminists and sympathizers with its double-entendre brand name and obvious exploitation of young women and their lustful, male customers. …<br /><br />
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But do such controversies give bureaucrats license to kill a business concept? The EEOC’s hiring discrimination ruling has been interpreted by some as implying that the agency expects Hooters to abandon its Hooters Girls formula, on the rationale that it illegally discourages men from applying for jobs.<br /><br />
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Less vague is the EEOC’s stated position that Hooters is violating civil-rights laws as long as males do not comprise at least 40 percent of its work force. The agency also demanded that Hooters establish a scholastic fund to “enhance the skills, employment opportunities or education of males.” Bureaucracy watchdog James Bovard, writing in The Wall Street Journal, ridiculed that mandate by asking: “What sort of education program did the EEOC have in mind? Teaching the new male hirees how to flirt with burly construction workers without getting punched in the nose?”<br /><br />
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(a) Does anti-discrimination law go too far here is disallowing a business concept?<br /><br />
(b) Would you want to be a “Hooters Boy,” considering that customers expecting to be served by an attractive female might not tip as well?<br /><br />
(c) No doubt Hooters and many other restaurants discriminate against less attractive females when hiring servers. Should such discrimination be illegal?<br /><br />
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