Auburn Hooters: Selling Sex and Wings? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Auburn Hooters: Selling Sex and Wings?

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Is the Hooters restaurant in Auburn trying to sell more than just wings? A former assistant manager claims a corporate trainer used raunchy language when telling waitresses to get more money from customers by performing sexual acts.  When he reported the alleged incident to his boss, the assistant manager claims, he was fired.

A bright orange Hooters sign beckons customers on College street to come inside, enjoy the food and the friendly service. Hooters waitresses are famous for being young, pretty and in good enough shape to wear tight tank tops and tiny orange shorts. But Jarman Gray, a former assistant manager at Auburn Hooters, says in February of last year a female cooperate trainer encouraged the waitresses to take their sexy act, all the way.

"She was brought in to boost moral for the girls to increase sales and merchandise things along those lines, at this one particular meeting she decided to tell all the girls that if they needed to make extra money that they needed to essentially whore themselves out," said Gray.

Gray told News Leader 9 he was standing next to the female trainer when she spoke with 15 female employees. Court documents, detailing the incident, are extremely graphic and NewsLeader 9 has decided not to broadcast those specific details.

Gray said after the meeting several of the waitresses came up to him expressing their disgust at the trainers language and her suggestion that they prostitute themselves to make money.

"The comments were along the lines of, I work here as a waitress I'm not a prostitute, I'm not here to sell my body, a lot of them were just in shock," said Gray.

Gray immediately reported to the incident to Hooters of America Corporate office. The Corporate Franchise Director told Gray to speak with the owner of the restaurant, Darrell Spikes. Four days after the incident, Gray met with Spikes.

"I explained the situation and he told me he was top dog and that I had went over his head and I was no longer employed with Hooters," Gray claimed.

The 27-year old is now suing, for sexual harrassment and retaliation. The suit has been filed in in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Allen Arnold, of Arendall and Associates of Birmingham is representing Gray.

"If a person reports something wrong then they need protection, Tittle 7 of the Civil Rights act of 1964 is provided for such protection, and we feel like Mr. Gray had his rights violated and has been wrongfully terminated," said Arnold.

 Late Wednesday Darrell Spikes sent News Leader 9 this statement:

"There are currently untrue allegations being made by Jarman Gray, a former employee of a Hooters Franchisee, Alabama Wings, LLC involving his departure from employment with the Hooters Restaurant in Auburn Alabama. Mr. Gray was employed as a cook by the Auburn Hooters location for less than a year before he abandoned his job in February. Alabama Wings disputes the validity of the allegations being made and asserts that Mr. Gray abandoned his position and was not terminated. The alleged comments were made by a visiting employee from the Albany Georgia Hooters location which is owned by the same franchisee. There is no involvement of a "corporate trainer" or anyone from Atlanta-based Hooters of America, Inc. Hooters of America and the company-owned locations in and around the metro Atlanta area are not involved in this matter in any way. Hooters of America, Inc and its franchisees are committed to providing all employees with a harassment free work environment and finds the allegations involved in this matter repulsive. The allegations in no way reflect the proud image of the Hooters concept and they do a disservice to the more than 15,000 women employed world wide as Hooters Girls. Clearly the erroneous language used in the complaint is intended to garner media attention."

According to Jarman Gray several of the waitresses who were told to use sex to get money also notified Hooters Coorperate in Atlanta. However, none of the women were fired. Gray said he is positive the waitresses will testify on his behalf.

Stay Tuned to News Leader 9 for the very latest information.

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