ORANGE (CBS/AP) — The National Organization for Women is asking authorities to bar Hooters restaurants in Orange County and throughout California from serving children.
The group’s California chapter on Thursday filed complaints against the restaurants with prosecutors and police.
Hooters is known for its scantily clad waitresses. But NOW says the restaurants it identified are classified as adult entertainment establishments and are violating state and local laws by serving minors.
Patricia Bellasalma, NOW’s California president, told the San Francisco Chronicle that in recent years, Hooters has promoted itself as family friendly. It offers children’s menus and T-shirts in children’s sizes that say “Future Hooters Girl.”
Hooters said in a statement Friday that the charges were “ridiculous” and that the restaurant chain was not in violation of any laws.
“The Hooters brand of sex appeal is wholesome and that of the all-American cheerleader, not a seedy strip club,” said Mike McNeil, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta-based chain.
“Hooters is no more in violation of California’s adult entertainment codes than the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is.”
Attorney Mona Lisa Wallace, president of NOW’s San Francisco chapter, filed a complaint against the chain with San Francisco police.
She told KTVU-TV that Hooters has called itself an adult establishment to defend itself against lawsuits accusing the chain of discrimination because it does not hire men to serve food.
hiring practices in equal employment lawsuits.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports
“Hooters, Inc. claims that they are not a restaurant but that they are rather vicarious sexual entertainment,” Wallace said.
“So their workers are not food servers or waitresses. Their workers are sexual entertainers.”
Adult venues cannot serve to minors under San Francisco law, but restaurants cannot discriminate by gender when they hire workers, she said.
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