After losing an employee, a halal gyro shop hung a “help wanted” sign on the restaurant door. However, as soon as customers saw what it said, a civil rights complaint was filed, and the shop owner was forced to pay a fine.
An image of the sign—posted on April 20—sparked complaints after going viral on social media and attracted hundreds of comments after being posted to Facebook. The manager of the store later apologized and said the label had been made that way as the job involved heavy lifting.
In April, NY Gyro King located at 588A Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield posted a help wanted sign that specified it was seeking “Males Only.” The sign prompted a flurry of criticism and complaints on social media and was taken down and replaced with a gender-neutral version after a few days.
A manager at the restaurant later said the sign was posted because part of the job involved lifting heavy boxes and unloading shipments, prosecutors said.
“We have nothing against ladies,” manager Amir Ahmad told the North Jersey Record in a statement at the time. “We’re not sexist or anything like that. I was in a rush to find somebody fast. We didn’t mean nothing in a bad way. To be honest I didn’t really think about it.”
NY Gyro King has agreed to pay a $1,000 penalty, train its managers and staff on the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), and adopt a written anti-discrimination policy that includes information about how to file a complaint with DCR, prosecutors said.
“Employers cannot base employment decisions on generalizations about what men or women are interested in or capable of,” DCR Director Rachel Wainer Apter said. “All New Jersey residents must be able to pursue their own talents and passions without artificial limits imposed by gender stereotyping.”
New Jersey attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, said that except for “relatively few” circumstances in which gender is a bona fide occupational qualification for a job, employers have a duty to extend “equal opportunity” in the recruiting process, the job application process, and the hiring process.
“When they fail to do so, we will hold them accountable,” Grewal said.
According to AWM, people continued to add their comments to the conversation agreeing with Pezzano’s assessment of the sign and sharing their outrage that the restaurant would discriminate against women for the work.
“Yea, if you have a business, you have to abide by the law. If you don’t like it don’t have a business,” one person wrote.
“Oh the ignorance of Bloomfield citizens once again,” another resident cried.
“This is the USA, not Saudi Arabia,” one person wrote. “I love their food, but after seeing this, I’m not going there again.”
One person offered the restaurant a word of advice if they were trying to skirt the law. “It would have been smarter to let women apply and just not hire them. Not advertise ‘no women.’”