Casino servers: Cocktail uniforms caused firings

March 31, 2011 8:13:13 PM PDT
15 servers are out of a job at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City and they say it's discrimination.

Kathryn Felici worked as a cocktail server at the casino since it opened on Memorial Day Weekend 1978.

Though she appears to be fit, she apparently was not fit enough to wear a new costume set to be unveiled this Memorial Day Weekend.

"I was brought up to the office and told I did not meet the requirements for the uniform and was let go," Felici said.

New owners took over Resorts in December and are moving to a roaring 20's theme dovetailing off the cable TV series "Boardwalk Empire" set in prohibition era Atlantic City. The new costumes are a revealing, flapper girl style.

The fired workers say they were told to try them on and photos were taken of how they looked in them.

"We thought they were taking these pictures to critique the uniform and try to get it to something that would look good on everybody and that wasn't the case," fired cocktail server Terry Bruno said.

On the final day of a probationary period following the casino sale to the new owners, 15 of the original cocktail waitresses were let go after training newcomers.

The union is charging age discrimination saying about 40 new servers hired are almost all in their 20's.

"I look at myself and I look at others and I say, well, I kind of look like them except I'm not 25," Bruno said.

In a statement, Resorts says "the selection process was conducted in a fair and objective manner. We empathize with the cocktail servers who lost their jobs and gave them hiring preference in other positions at Resorts."

Union officials are not saying whether they plan any legal action against Resorts, just that they are backing the fired cocktail waitresses in whatever they want to do.

Right now, those who spoke to Action News, say they just want their jobs back.