Lauren Odes started working at a Lingerie business in Manhattan, New York but was fired in less than a week. According to Ms. Odes and her celebrity lawyer, Gloria Allred, the woman was fired as she was, ‚Äútoo hot for work.‚ÄĚ
29-year-old woman says she was fired for being too busty and is suing her former employees who happen to be Orthodox Jewish owners. Odes was only hired in April as a data entry worker for a Garment District lingerie company, reports Yahoo’s Shine.
Ms. Odes claims that her conservative Orthodox Jewish employers at Native Intimates told her to tape down her breasts to make them smaller and was even asked to wear a red bathrobe to cover an outfit, according to the ABC News,
The woman replied to her boss, ‚ÄúAre you kidding me?‚ÄĚ The supervisor replied to Lauren that she should, ‚Äújust cover up a little more.‚ÄĚ Other suggestions were, ‚ÄúMaybe you should wear your boyfriend‚Äôs T-shirt and sweatpants.‚ÄĚ
However, Odes noticed other employees wore clothing that ranged from very casual athletic wear to business attire. So, trying to match that dress code, she donned a gray T-shirt with jeggings ‚ÄĒ but was told to cover up more.
“I felt ridiculous and extremely embarrassed, others in the office were laughing and asking why I was wearing it and I told them what I was told,” Odes said.
She eventually agreed to wear a long sweater at work, but while she was shopping for the cover-up item, she received notice that she was dismissed.
“I do not feel an employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me when I’m working in a business that’s not a synagogue, but sells things with hearts on the female genitals and boy shorts for women that say hot in the buttocks area,” Odes said.
“This whole experience has been horrifying to me,” she told reporters. “I love fashion and I always will, but I don’t believe any woman should be treated as I was.”
According to U.S. law, the woman might not have much of a case. Their country allows employers to dismiss employees with no employment contracts for any reason, with the exception of religious discrimination.
As Yahoo’s Shine writes, in Canada, dress codes can be enforced if those codes have health and safety purposes such as hairnets in a restaurant or steel-toed boots on a construction site, or to accommodate religious freedom such as a headscarf.
In Odes’ case, her reluctance to dress modestly, however, might make her legal fight a difficult one. Still, Ms Odes has decided to file a complaint against the company to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
‚ÄúShe was simply fired for being attractive and for not conforming to the religious strictures imposed by top management,‚ÄĚ Ms Allred – well-known for her feminist legal campaigns – alleged.
‚ÄúI understand there are Orthodox Jewish men who may have their views on how a woman should dress and how much she should be covered,‚ÄĚ Ms Odes said on the press conference. ‚ÄúBut I am Jewish as well and don’t feel any employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me.‚ÄĚ
The Atlantic Wire criticizes the tabloid-esque nature of stories like this, arguing that Odes ‘ story hurts another women:
“Any imagined or real injustice is less important than the fact that this woman has the audacity to claim she’s so hot she lost her job. In that way, it ends up being a story that lets people hate women.”
This shouldn’t be a case of “hot or not.” Sure, jeggings are hardly workplace-appropriate. Being told to tape down your breasts, however, is a completely different issue.