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WeHo bartender demoted for being too fat?

October 30, 2008 5:32:27 PM PDT
A bartender is suing the West Hollywood nightclub where she works. She claims she was taken out of the bar and put on kitchen duty for gaining a few pounds.Virginia Tzortzos doesn't think she's overweight, and her attorney, Gloria Allred, doesn't think so either. But according to the pair's sexual-discrimination lawsuit, a West Hollywood nightclub, the Foxtail Lounge, punished the 30-year-old bartender for gaining weight.

"It has humiliated me to be told that my value as a human being is based solely on my weight," said Tzortzos.

Tzortzos was hired as a bartender at the Foxtail Lounge in January. She says earlier this month, Foxtail management relegated her to kitchen work, and would not let her work in public view until she lost five to six pounds. Tzortzos says she's a size 5-6, the same size she was when she was hired.

"The men bartenders are not required to lose weight, just the women," said attorney Gloria Allred. "No woman should have to fit a gender stereotype of what a woman should look like. That is a form of sex discrimination, we argue."

Eyewitness News went to the Foxtail Lounge for a response from the owners. No one came to the door Thursday afternoon.

The club is owned by a Los Angeles company called SBE. Eyewitness News stopped by the company's main office in Fairfax Village and were told someone would be in contact later, but as of edit time, no communication had been received from the company.

"Every time I went in for a shift, I was reminded that losing five pounds seemed to matter more than my job performance," said Tzortzos.

Allred said Tzortzos has taken a medical leave from work due to stress. She's seeking monetary damages, as well as a return to bartending, determined to make sure that weight gain doesn't equal a net loss.


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