A help wanted sign in front of a Bloomfield business that listed a job that only men could apply for led to several complaints online.
Essex County resident Joseph Pezzano posted a photo to his Facebook account showing a handwritten sign hanging at the Gyro King in Bloomfield.
“A sign like that is disheartening to a young female looking for work, or even a single mother trying to do the proper thing and work and not live off subsidies,” Pezzano wrote. He was the outraged citizen who first saw the sexist sign posted on the front of the Middle Eastern restaurant.
The sign requests “males only” apply, and the restaurant owners are saying they’ve since been threatened with boycotts and have received negative reviews since Pezzano’s post went up. Gyro King manager Amir Ahmad says the request for males is only related to the heavy lifting involved with the position, and that they’re actually willing to hire anyone able to do the work.
Ahmad said one of his workers, in charge of carrying heavy boxes of food, quit suddenly and he was looking for an immediate replacement.
“I wrote it on Saturday night, I never meant it the wrong way,” he said. “When I came back on Monday, my co-worker said people are calling” and complaining, he said.
“We love all of our customers equally, doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman,” Ahmad added. He said he took the sign down on Monday.
“This is one of the best towns I’ve ever been in. Over here everybody respects you,” he said.
Ahmad said he’s the brother of the owner of the restaurant, which opened in 2016 after it relocated from Brooklyn, New York.
“I would like to say I’m sorry to the community,” Amir Ahmad, of NY Gyro King on Bloomfield Avenue, told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. “I never meant it that way … I respect everyone equally, I don’t do that racism or sexist thing. It was a mistake.”
According to AWM, people continued to add their comments to the conversation agreeing with Pezzano’s assessment of the sign and sharing their outrage that the restaurant would discriminate against women for the work.
“Yea, if you have a business, you have to abide by the law. If you don’t like it don’t have a business,” one person wrote.
“Oh the ignorance of Bloomfield citizens once again,” another resident cried.
“This is the USA, not Saudi Arabia,” one person wrote. “I love their food, but after seeing this, I’m not going there again.”
One person offered the restaurant a word of advice if they were trying to skirt the law. “It would have been smarter to let women apply and just not hire them. Not advertise ‘no women.’”
“The workers are Muslim. You are not allowed to mix males with females unless they are family members. Please don’t be willfully ignorant,” one person wrote.
However, the manager made it quite clear that this was not a religious issue, but a discriminatory tactic to keep women out of a job because of fear that they would be unable to lift 40-pound boxes, according to AWM.