Per the consent decree agreement, the Outer Limit agreed to pay $11,500 in damages to Michael Shores and an additional $2,000 in damages to his friend and colleague, Chris Calahan. This came after the two men filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1999 after they were told they would not be hired because they were men, according to a report by the Tennessean.com.
In addition to the monetary damages, the establishment is also required to post a notice notifying workers of the settlement. US District Judge Todd Campbell signed the consent decree.
Shores claims he was offered a bartender position at the Nashville nightclub in 1999 by an old friend and disc jockey at the club in a handshake deal. However, when he went to the Outer Limit, to “take care of formalities,” he was intercepted by a general manager, whom he did not know. The general manager told him he could not be hired because “‘he’s the wrong gender.’ ”
The Memphis-based senior trial attorney for the EEOC, Carson Owen, hypothesized that in this case, ”the Outer Limit wanted most of its bartenders to be women because it thought that would result in more drink sales.”
However, ”the moral of the story is that employers need to not only be careful about not hiring women because of their sex but also be careful about not hiring men because of their sex,” Owen said. ”It doesn’t happen very often. I’ve seen it happen in bartender jobs and I’ve seen it happen sometimes in greeter jobs in restaurants.”
The Outer Limit’s attorney declined to comment on the case.