This past Monday, National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge William Nelson Cates held that a Hooters Restaurant franchise illegally fired a waitress who voiced complaints about a bikini context. Judge Cates also determined that nine separate work rules in the franchise’s employee handbook were unlawful. Accordingly, the franchise must now reinstate the employee, with full back wages, and reform its employee handbook to get rid of the offending work rules.
In particular, the judge found a rule prohibiting the restaurant’s waitresses from comparing tip amounts with other employees to be unlawful. Judge Cates also struck down a rule prohibiting insubordination, providing that it could be interpreted to prohibit protected activity. We will keep you posted as to any appeals.