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Good Writing For Good Causes

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Mobile Register
November 19, 1995

Tempest in a D-cup

It would be interesting but probably excruciating to learn exactly how many billions of tax dollars the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has blown down the canyon in pursuit of its bizarre notions of “fairness.” Hooters is the latest target of this bureaucratic imbecility.

Hooters is a chain of 170 restaurants, with one here in Mobile. Its image is defined by its staff of servers, called “Hooters Girls.” These are lissome young women hired for their steady work ethic and cheerful dimensions. They dress in economically cut uniforms of orange nylon shorts and T-shirts hemmed high enough to give the midriff air and sunshine.

Although women customers are often seen refreshing themselves at Hooters, our field researchers tell us that the restaurants specialize in offering a wholesome environment where male patrons can munch their sandwiches and roll their eyes over the hills and dales of the Hooters Girls.

Think what you will of the set-up, that is the set-up — so, of course, that is what the EEOC seeks to disrupt in the name of “fairness.” Where are the boy waiters? they ask. You must have boy waiters, they insist. It is a classic example of how the spirit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been twisted into nonsense by pinch-brained federal bureaucrats.

But it is far from the first example, and certainly not the worst. An infamous recent case of EEOC excess involved the Daniel Lamp Co. of Chicago. Located in the heart of a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, the company employed 26 workers — 21 of whom were Hispanic, the other five black. All was well until the nitpickers from EEOC arrived with their census charts and fairness calipers to divine that the company needed 2.45 additional blacks to meet the federal fairness quota.

Operating on its standard presumption of guilt, EEOC ordered the owner to spend $10,000 to advertise for extra blacks and pay nearly $124,000 to those who had applied but hadn’t been hired. After the owner proved that this would break the business, EEOC took $25,000 and headed for its next quixotic raid.

Hooters is a bigger business and could be in for bigger trouble. EEOC badgers have been after them for four years now. Well, we agree with the customers that the EEOC should mind its own business. The hilly terrain at Hooters doesn’t need any leveling from federal landscapers. Let the boy waiters find work elsewhere.

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