The UK does not want 'Hooters'. It is a retrograde step for a country dedicated to gender equality

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hooters, Sexism and the Office Christmas Party


If you're not happy about your office having their staff Christmas party at Hooters, you don't have to put up with it. You are entitled to be unhappy.

The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 protects individuals from being discriminated against in employment, vocational training, education, the provision and sale of goods, facilities and services, premises and the exercise of public functions due to their sex/gender.

Institutionalised sexism is unacceptable. Whether in the office or at a work gathering, such as the Christmas party. And if your office has decided to hold its Christmas party at Hooters this year (or an equally grotesque venue) - and you're not happy about it - you've every right to react. Take your employer to court and, if you win, and you could be as successful as this woman is right now.

Directgov, the Government's official website for all workplace matters, is clear on the fact that sexism at an office party in an external environment is just as valid as sexism in the actual office.  The website says: "You have the right not to be harassed or made fun of at work or in a work-related setting (eg an office party). Harassment means offensive or intimidating behaviour - sexist language or racial abuse, which aims to humiliate, undermine or injure its target or has that effect. For example, allowing displays or distribution of sexually explicit material or giving someone a potentially offensive nickname."

If you feel discriminated against because of where your company has held its Christmas party (or for any other reason at work), you should first raise this with your HR department in writing, but also follow it up with Directgov, Unison, or the Citizens' Advice Bureau. You deserve better.

Don't take sexism lying down!

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