ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) — A former Hooters server has won a major legal battle after the restaurant chain fired her for not following rules in the employee handbook.
“She’s feeling very vindicated,” Attorney Burton Boltuch, who represents Alexis Hanson, said.
In 2013, Hanson was let go from the Ontario Mills location after she was accused of violating company rules, including a verbal altercation with employees and posting negative comments about Hooters on social media.
“She denied any misconduct, she denied cursing, yelling, threatening, or posting any illegal negative comments,” Boltuch said.
KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reports that the problems started when Hanson said she heard from a co-worker that managers called some Hooters girls “fat” and “stupid.” The managers also allegedly complained that one “girl scrunched her hair like a Mexican.”
Hanson told her co-workers and the regional director she was concerned about the alleged derogatory comments.
The server also shared concerns about a bikini contest she claimed was rigged and felt forced to be a part of without pay.
The National Labor Relations Board ruled this week the company violated federal labor laws, which allows employees to act together for their benefit and protection.
Hooters can no longer fire employees for raising concerns and must revise most of their employee handbook that was deemed “overly broad.”
“Any smart employers will have their policies reviewed by their attorneys to make sure that, in light of recent court decisions, their handbooks are compliant with the law,” Boltuch said.
The company was also required to offer Hanson her job back plus back pay.
An attorney for Hooters said they don’t agree with the judge’s findings and plan on filing an appeal.