A West Coast bar has caused a stir by posting an advertisement calling for part-time staff who “must have double D breasts”.
The ad, posted in the window of Stumpers bar in Hokitika has been labelled “sexist and disgusting” by locals despite some defending it as humour.
The notice called for part-time staff to work at the bar and hotel, noting that they “must have double D breasts, a great smile & a good attitude,” before adding: “But men can also apply”.
The advertisement was quickly shared around social media after it was photographed yesterday, with opinion in the West Coast town split on whether it should be counted as an attempt at humour or as sexist and discriminatory.
“I will never go there again. Its NOT humorous it is sexist and disgusting. Do the men who apply need to measure their penis to get the job?” an outraged local woman wrote.
“Bloody hell. Lighten up. It’s a joke. Would it help if the whole world said sorry?” another local asked.
The woman who initially posted the photo said it would have the effect of sexualising the likely young female staff.
“I’m sure you would love having dirty old men staring at your daughter’s Double D breasts all shift….” she wrote.
The argument was made that such language “goes with the territory” and anyone working behind the bar would hear worse from drunk patrons.
“Drunk patrons may go with the territory,” the original poster replied, “but you should never be subject to working for a boss who objectifies and treats potential staff like this.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment told the Herald that the ad was in breach of The Human Rights Act 1993, which prohibits publishing a job advertisement that could reasonably be understood as indicating an intention to discriminate on one of the grounds covered by the Human Rights Act.
“The intention of the advertiser is not the issue,” David Milne, regional manager, Labour Inspectorate told the Herald.
“What is important is the impression the advertisement gives to a reasonable person.”
A spokesperson for Human Rights Commission told the Herald that they would not comment directly on the advertisement but warned that misplaced attempts at humour could have serious repercussions in the workplace.
“Generally, an employer can only specify physical characteristics such as height, weight or strength as requirements for a job if these would significantly impact the applicant’s ability to perform the essential duties of the position,” the spokesperson said.
“Employers can’t prefer a specific gender to fill a position unless the employer can prove that gender is a genuine occupational qualification.
“Humour has an important role in our society, but the use of sexualised language in the workplace may amount to sexual harassment under the Human Rights Act 1993,” they added.
The spokesperson said the Commission would encourage employers to ensure that workplaces are inclusive and have a culture that is consistent, fair and non-discriminatory and values the job application and interview processes.
They advised that anyone wishing to make a complaint about workplace discrimination or sexual harassment can read about the process and make a complaint online.
Stumpers told the Herald today that they did not wish to comment.