For still unclear reasons, Redfish Willie’s Waterfront Grill in Aransas Pass recently posted on Facebook that the restaurant was hiring “servers and bartenders who aren’t or don’t plan to get pregnant.”
“To me, I think it is discrimination,” Corpus Christi mother Constance Benford said.
Facebook users echoed those sentiments dozens of times in comments on the original post and a second post in which the restaurant admitted it “went a little over the top” in the job post. The federal government agrees and then some.
“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Legal Counsel said in a statement in response to Redfish Willie’s job posting.
“It is unlawful to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on current, past, or potential future pregnancy,” the statement continued.
Redfish Willie’s put out a statement of its own on Wednesday. It read: “We have a very diverse group of employees and we have ALWAYS worked as a family. We are very family friendly and happy to learn when our family is growing.
The remainder of the statement read: “We are OPEN and WELCOMING any applicants looking for positions we have available.”
The EEOC says businesses can face financial penalties for discriminatory practices. If someone can convince a court they are a victim of such practices, punitive damages could be made available to them. The business could have to pay that person up to $50,000 if the business has between 15 and 100 employees.
As Benford watched her five-year-old son play on a Corpus Christi playground Wednesday she expressed her disappointment with Redfish Willie’s, but she also said that the job post’s restrictions may cost the restaurant good applicants just because they’re pregnant.
“You’re still overlooking a hard worker that would probably be better than the other one,” Benford said.