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Houston strip bar peels off $60,000 to settle age bias suit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The adult entertainment business trades on youthful vitality, but there’s no reason an older worker shouldn’t serve drinks in a strip club.

So said the EEOC, which just reached a settlement agreement with the owners of Houston’s Cover Girls strip bar after they fired a 56-year-old waitress. Cover Girls agreed to pay $60,000 to Mary Bassi, whose Age Discrimination in Employment Act lawsuit the EEOC championed.

The EEOC had claimed two male Cover Girls managers, both in their 30s, harassed and discriminated against Bassi. The commission said the two frequently called Bassi “old,” told her she was exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s disease, ridiculed her for going through menopause and made other negative comments about her age.

The EEOC also claimed Cover Girls hired younger female waitresses and then gave them lucrative shifts Bassi once worked. The club finally fired Bassi in 2006 “without provocation or explanation,” according to the lawsuit.

In addition to the $60,000 payment, the settlement requires Cover Girls to train managers on how to comply with federal employment discrimination laws.

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