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Monday, September 21, 2015

SCHIAVO, ET AL. VS. MARINA DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

SCHIAVO, ET AL. VS. MARINA DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LLC, D/B/A BORGATA CASINO HOTEL & SPA 
A-5983-12T4 
Plaintiffs, twenty-one women who are present or former employees of defendant Marina District Development Company, LLC, operating as the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa, appeal from the summary judgment dismissal of their complaint alleging violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49, as informed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17. Plaintiffs allege defendant's adoption and application of personal appearance standards (the PAS) subjected them to illegal gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, disparate treatment, disparate impact, and as to some plaintiffs, resulted in adverse employment actions. 


 We examine the types of decimation claims and generally hold the PAS requirements were permitted by N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(p), a provision allowing an employer to establish reasonable employee appearance standards and the LAD does not encompass allegations of discrimination based on weight, appearance, or sex appeal. 

 The evidence does not support plaintiffs' claims of gender stereotyping, disparate treatment, and disparate impact. However, the record does present a material dispute of facts regarding defendant's application of the PAS weight standard to harass certain plaintiffs whose lack of compliance resulted from 
documented medical conditions and post-pregnancy, thus targeting them because of their gender. As to those claims, summary judgment is reversed and the matter remanded.