WeHo’s Foxtail Settles Suit, Allows "Fat" Bartender Back
West Hollywood, California (Thursday, November 13, 2008) - In October, Virginia Tzortzos, an experienced hand behind a bar, was reassigned by West Hollywood’s hot SBE nightspot Foxtail’s management to kitchen duty because she was too fat to tend bar.
She had gained five pounds. No other male bartenders were counseled or reassigned for having a few extra pounds, causing Virginia to seek legal relief through local attorney Gloria Allred.
Early this week, after being served with the suit, which alleged gender discrimination in employment and sex harassment, Foxtail relented, welcoming her back to front and center in the bar.
The affair began nine months after Ms. Tzortzos, of North Hollywood, began working at the new nightclub.
She had an unblemished employment record, was never late, working four nights a week, and because she never called in sick, had a perfect attendance record.
Ms. Tzortzos has been a bartender and/or food server for 12 years.
According to Ms. Allred, after her weight gain, Ms. Tzortzos was abruptly reassigned to the kitchen and told to remain invisible to patrons until she lost 5-6 pounds "to start," the implication being that she might have to slim down even further to regain her position.
Banished to the kitchen, she felt oppressed by her employers and soon afterward was written up for being complacent.
Foxtail management told her she needed to get happy about her job.
As a result of the stress caused by being relegated to the kitchen due to the discrimination and sexual harassment, Ms. Tzortzos took a medical leave.
Ms. Allred said, " No woman should be required to fit into a gender stereotype of what a sexy, attractive woman should look like.
"Men are not required to be rail thin, and women should not be subjected to a different standard."
Almost immediately after being served in the suit, the Foxtail reinstated her in her original position, five pounds and all.
Damages are still being sought for emotional and financial pain caused.
Michael Doneff, a spokesperson for Foxtail, sent WeHo News the following statement, "Generally we do not comment on pending litigation, but due to the publicity that this matter has received, we feel it’s necessary to clarify that Virginia was never terminated from her employment at Foxtail, but took a voluntary leave of absence.
We are pleased that she has returned to work tonight and we’re thrilled to have her back as part of the Foxtail family."