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Jacqueline Schiavo, et al. v. Marina District Development Co.
New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division
442 N.J. Super. 346 (2015)
The Marina District Development Co. (Marina) (defendant) operated as the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Marina decided to create a specialized group of male and female costumed beverage servers called BorgataBabes (BBs) to work in the casino. The stated purpose of the BBs was to differentiate the casino and promote the image of a fun, upscale, sensual, and international business. The BBs contractually agreed to follow strict personal-appearance standards (the PAS) that required physical fitness; weight proportionate to height; and a clean, healthy smile. Marina clarified the PAS to require that the BBs maintain approximately the same weight as when they were hired. Marina suspended 25 female BBs and zero male BBs during the years the weight standard was in effect. Marina targeted and harassed female BBs who returned from maternity and medical leaves with immediate enforcement of the weight standard. Jacqueline Schiavo and other female BBs subjected to the weight standard (plaintiffs) filed a consolidated action to challenge the PAS and Marina’s enforcement of the weight standard. The female BBs claimed gender stereotyping, sexual-harassment hostile work environment, disparate treatment based on sex, and disparate impact based on sex, all in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), as informed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Marina moved for summary-judgment dismissal of all of the claims. The motion judge found that the weight standard was reasonable in the casino industry. The judge granted Marina’s motion for summary-judgment dismissal of all the claims.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lihotz, J.)
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