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Dear Amy,

Recently several of my good friends were hired at a popular restaurant in the area which we live. After a week of training, they have repeatedly told me about the sexual politics that have been going on at the restaurant. Managers openly discriminate against girls according to how pleasurable they are to the eye. Only the cutest girls are allowed to be hostesses, and girls who are deemed "unpleasing" are demoted to bussing. The managers openly discuss this fact with the employees and seem to have little regard for the fact that they are violating the equal opportunity statutes established by the federal government. I am completely disgusted by this and would like to organize some type of action to expose this blatant discrimination to the eyes of the community. What course of action would you suggest I take? Thank you for your very valuable advice.



Dear Katie,

Thanks for speaking out against the injustices that are right in your own backyard. I think it's great that you want to pursue this and, hopefully, your friends who work there are supportive of your efforts, because obviously you will need their examples.

First, it's important to document what went wrong--exact dates, behaviors, etc. To operate in good faith, you should write a letter to the employer with this information, explaining that if they don't respond then you will initiate a major PR campaign against them. It's important to give them a chance to respond.

If they don't respond, you can take action to notify the public. I would make lots of flyers and hand them out so people know what happened and if they don't support this behavior, then they shouldn't support this restaurant. It's really important to have all of the facts so they can't come back and file something against you. Also, you might want to try to get some media attention. Pay attention to your local paper and which reporters seem to have an interest in these types of stories--then send them a letter with this information and with your plans for future action.

Good luck and let me know what else I might be able to provide.



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