By: Suzette Parmley
Cohen Seglias Partner Jonathan Landesman is quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article, “How the ‘Borgata Babes’ Case Has Helped Define Employee Appearance Standards.”
Filed a decade ago, a suit by employees of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City has put appearance and weight standards front and center, and provided a rare glimpse inside the casino industry, where glitz and glamour are as much a part of the equation as slot machines and table games.
The Borgata Babes case, which yielded a recent ruling from the Appellate Division, has raised important questions about what employee appearance standards may require and how they may be enforced.
One casino gaming attorney not involved in the case, Michael Sklar, said the test for any appearance standard should be its reasonableness.
“For Borgata specifically, and other casinos, [personal appearance standards] are important because they want to create an image,” said Sklar, of Levine Staller Sklar Chan & Brown in Atlantic City. ”Back when it first opened in July 2003, the Borgata was something completely new to the AC market. It was trying to appeal to a different demographic than what had been a typical Atlantic City day-tripper customer.”
Jonathan Landesman, a partner and co-chairman of the labor and employment law group at Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman in Philadelphia, said, “Generally speaking, after having tried employment discrimination cases exclusively for 20 years, employers can find themselves facing lawsuits and potential liability when they adopt policies that give management too much discretion, instead of having clear rules and bright lines that everyone can read and understand and don’t involve discretion.”