Thursday, May 14, 2009

“Who wants to see a 56-year-old stripper?”

Those were my wife’s words when I told her last night what I’d be writing about today. The EEOC is suing a Houston strip club for firing a 56-year-old dancer. According to the Houston Chronicle [h/t: ABA Journal]:

Mary Bassi, who was 56 at the time of her termination, worked at Cover Girls, where she was allegedly subjected to disparaging remarks. According to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in federal court, she was frequently called “old” by managers and endured comments about experiencing menopause and showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Connie Wilhite, the EEOC lawyer in charge of the case, “It doesn’t matter what industry you work in. You are still protected by anti-discrimination laws.” While I agree that every individual has the right to be free from unlawful job discrimination regardless of one’s chosen occupation, I seriously question whether this lawsuit is a judicious use of our government’s resources. After all, to translate my wife’s question into legal terms, can anyone really dispute that age is a bona fide occupational qualification for a strip club employee?

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