A London bar is facing potentially serious repercussions after its recent job ad went viral.
Shoreditch’s House of Wax in London posted the advertisement on the job recruitment website Reed.
“New Shoreditch Jazz Bar are looking for extremely attractive waiting staff to provide exceptional service to our customers,” the ad reads. “You will be assisting the Bar Manager & will be completely customer focused.”
But the “attractive” requirement quickly angered the internet. In the United Kingdom, employers cannot discriminate because of a personal characteristic—physical appearance certainly qualifies.
The ad concludes by noting that “waitresses must be comfortable wearing black heels during their shift,” while “waiters must be comfortable wearing well-presented professional shoes (dress shoes) during their shift.”
Equal rights activist Nicola Thorp quickly picked up the story, tweeting out screenshots of the offensive job posting.
Last year, Thorp says she was fired for refusing to wear high heels at her office job, which eventually led to a debate on workplace discrimination in Parliament.
Twitter reacted quickly.
“Remind me which century we are in,” wrote user Kevin Turvey.
“For an established company, this is unacceptable in every way,” wrote user Chris Hawkins.
“We’ll get our CX team to edit & follow up with the recruiter first thing tomorrow morning,” reads a post from the site’s Twitter account. “We’ll be in touch as soon as it’s been updated.”
Later, Reed added that they’d removed the job and contacted the recruiter to “look into the issue further.”
Nevertheless, Thorp wasn’t impressed.
“This post would look out of place even on a dating site, never mind an employment website,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I can’t believe that House of Wax had the audacity to post such an advert, but I’m even more disappointed that Reed allowed it to go live. How do they think prospective employees will feel about a job hunt after reading something like that?”
“We take our responsibilities extremely seriously,” a Reed spokesperson told the news organization. “Clearly, in this instance, an advertiser has used inappropriate language in their posting and so details of the vacancy have been removed.”
Thorp has opposed unfair workplace practices over the last year by successfully petitioning the British government and writing numerous op-ed pieces about her own experiences with discrimination.
“It might be 2017, but discrimination in the workplace is rife, and I’m not just talking about sexism,” she wrote in a recent piece for Today.com. “I have witnessed black women being told that their natural hair simply wasn’t ‘professional enough,’ and being sent home and ordered to have it chemically straightened if they wanted to keep their jobs. There have been men who were told they can’t wear makeup, and women who were told to wear more or less makeup.”
“If you don’t make changes, things will just stay the same.”