In California the popular restaurant chain Hooters, renowned for its buxom and scantily clad waitresses is at the center of a class action lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court and uniforms are the heart of the matter.
The suit is being brought by five current and former employees of Hooters on behalf of a proposed class of non-manager employees in five Central Valley franchises of the restaurant chain, legally known as Hooters of America, Inc. The claim was filed on March 16, 2010. Officially the case is titled, "Class Action Complaint for Wage and Hour Violations And for Other Claims Seeking Damages Injunctive and Other Relief." (The text of the claim is available here.)
According to law.com, "the complaint claims the restaurant chain workers were improperly forced to share tips with managers and to buy their own uniforms, among other alleged wage-and-hour violations." One of their attorneys, Morris Baller of Oakland's Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian, told law.com that,
The Hooter Girls have a uniform that they are required to wear.... What's really shocking is that while they are given most but not all of the uniform when they report to work, when they have to replace it, they are required to buy their own uniforms from the company.
Coupled with a suit filed on the same day in Los Angeles and a similar one filed in San Francisco in 2009 a total of over three dozen employees are currently named in the three suits according to the Associated Press. The other labor code violations cited include staff having walkouts deducted from their pay checks, not being granted required breaks and meal periods and having their time records altered.
Hooter's has declined to respond publicly to the allegations and their website does not mention the class action suit. However, their mission statement emphasizes employee development and growth:
We are committed to providing an environment of employee growth and development so that we can provide every guest a unique, entertaining dining experience in a fun and casual atmosphere delivered by attractive, vivacious Hooters Girls while making positive contributions to the communities in which we live.