"Too Ghetto" for Bikini Bar? Let the Jury Decide

Buxom babe sues Hawaiian Tropic Zone for job discrimination

By Jennifer Millman
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 10:05 AM EDT
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Sassy or Trashy: Bikinis

AP

Melody Morales, 22, sued the Hawaiian Tropic Zone after she claimed managers wouldn't give her a job because she was "too ghetto."

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A voluptuous 22-year-old will be able to have a jury decide if she is "too ghetto" to work at the hot-n-heavy Hawaiian Tropic Zone, where buxom babes strut their stuff in bikinis while serving patrons in Times Square.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward Lehner gave the thumbs up to the discrimination lawsuit on Tuesday.

Melody Morales decided to take Hawaiian Tropic Zone to court after the restaurant didn't give her the opportunity to audition for her "dream job" because she didn't "speak white."

The Latina bombshell alleges managers cast her off because of her "Latin accent" and "ghetto" style.

"I don't think accent should play any role in service at a restaurant where the waitresses serve drinks and meals in bikinis," Morales' attorney Derek Smith told the Daily News.

What should play a role? Morales, an ex-Hooters girl with a reportedly 34-D cup bust, says she looks pretty darn good in a bikini.

Morales sued Hawaiian Tropic Zone in January after she said managers twice turned her away because of her accent. At a hearing in June, lawyers for the restaurant took aim at Morales, suggesting not so obtusely that she was a prostitute after her photos showed up on "very filthy" Web sites, some of which advertised erotic services.

"She has only one Web site and that's on MySpace," Morales' attorney argued at the time, saying that all Morales wanted was a job where she could show off her blazing body and that she has never earned any money from selling sex.

James Rosenzweig, an attorney for the Hawaiian Tropic Zone, declined the News' requests for comment on the developments in the case.

In the past, lawyers for the restaurant have touted the diversity of its employees, saying 40 percent of its work force is Latino. Employers have the right to not hire inarticulate speakers, who are not a class protected by discrimination laws, Rosenzweig argued in June.

Smith told Judge Lehner yesterday that his client speaks quite well. He also said he intends to "depose all of the waitresses who work there because I am interested to see how well they speak," reports the News.

Besides, it's quite obvious that Hawaiian Tropic Zone customers aren't there to listen to what the babes in bikinis serving them have to say, Smith said.

"It's apparent that the real reason that a person would go to the Hawaiian Tropic Zone is similar to why someone would go to Hooters," he said.  

Hawaiian Tropic Zone reopened this summer after being closed for renovations, which had been prompted by an onslaught of bad press following several sexual-harassment lawsuits filed by former employees.

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