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Can a restaurant say they want to hire female servers?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Employment Law

You want to apply for a new job at a local restaurant, working as a server. But when you look at their employment ad, you see that it says they would like to hire female servers. As a male, you wonder if this is legal.

There have been lawsuits over this type of thing in the past, and it is generally prohibited for any business to say that they only want to hire people of one gender. All workers need to be considered fairly, regardless of gender, and they need to have an equal opportunity to apply for jobs for which they are qualified. As a rule of thumb, a restaurant – or another business – cannot advertise that they only want to hire people of one gender and it is a violation of the rights of other potential workers if they do so.

Are there any exceptions?

There are certain exceptions and some businesses may be able to use a special qualification to show that they do need to hire workers of one gender, whether they are male or female. This is often referred to as a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ). Essentially, it just means that the business has to show that gender plays a role in the person’s job and is, therefore, a viable qualification.

For instance, an apparel company that makes women’s clothing may need to hire models for their latest catalog or online content. It is not illegal for them to hire female models because this is how they would like to advertise their products to their potential audience.

Have your rights been violated?

These exceptions are few and far between, so it is generally a violation of your rights if you see an ad for a job posting like this. Make sure you know exactly what legal options you have.