Melody Morales: Hawaiian Tropic Zone NYC

January 28, 2009

Meet Melody Morales, the busty Latin beauty and former Hooters waitress whose aspiration to work at Hawaiian Tropic Zone began with a job application and ended with a lawsuit. See photos, biography and a video here.

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Melody Morales applied 15 times for a job at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant and bar, located in Times Square, New York City, and was denied employment each time, despite Hooters on her resume and her 34-D cup size. Managers told her no jobs were available; she was told otherwise by employees. She has now filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination. She says that one manager told her, “You don’t speak white” and “you are ghetto.” Another said, “I am not going to ruin my business with your Latin accent.”

“It is 100% illegal to discriminate because of where you’re from or because you have an accent,” said her lawyer, Derek Smith. “Melody certainly has the assets for this job.”

Hawaiian Tropic Zone has two locations, New York City and Las Vegas, Nevada. Created by restaurateur Dennis Riese, it bills itself “The Hottest Place on Earth” and is staffed with waitresses, hostesses and bartenders who are clad in bikinis, and thus is much racier than Hooters to which it is sometimes compared. Many of the servers at the restaurant were finalists or winners in contests sponsored by the restaurant. According to the restaurant’s Web site photo gallery, its beachwear clad staff is comprised of Americans of diverse ethnic backgrounds as well as from foreign countries including Nigeria, Russia, and Jamaica.

In addition to the lawsuit Melody Morales has filed, the restaurant is also facing another lawsuit from former employees who are alleging sexual harassment and rape.

As a biography, Melody Morales is 21 years old and was born in New York to Dominican and Puerto Rican parents. A former Hooters girl, she now works a bikini bar in Ossining, which is in upstate New York. She had wanted to work at Hawaiian Tropic Zone because she liked the idea of working in just a bikini and felt overdressed at Hooters where she had to wear a tank top and shorts.

In the lawsuit she is seeking $500 a day ($130,000 a year) for every year she could have reasonably expected to work at Hawaiian Tropic Zone along with punitive damages.

Here are photos of Melody Morales. More photos and a video are below.

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