Five women who say they were secretly videotaped naked or undressing while they applied for jobs at a Los Angeles area Hooters sued the restaurant chain Tuesday.
The lawsuit comes as police in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina investigate 180 video files seized from the personal computer of a former Hooters manager that show job applicants changing into the chain's body-hugging uniforms.
No charges have been filed against the former manager, Juan Aponte, though police say they will present a case to prosecutors after interviewing some 1,200 women who applied for jobs at the restaurant.
1,200 women applied for jobs at a single Hooters???
Mike McNeil, a spokesman for Hooters of America, Inc., said that the surreptitious taping was "clearly an instance of an individual acting outside the scope of the company's policies as well as the law."
McNeil said Hooters was not a target of the investigation and had been commended by police for their cooperation, adding that he did not understand what lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents the plaintiffs, hoped to gain by the lawsuit.
"Thanks to our cooperation and policies and swift movement in this case, these images were not published," McNeil said. "It's certainly a high profile case that is getting a lot of attention and getting Ms. Allred's name in print, but it will be interesting to see what benefits derive for her clients."
He added that the West Covina restaurant was a franchise and not owned by Hooters of America.