Is it unlawful to fire an employee for being too sexy? Well, it depends. That’s the claim that a New Jersey woman filed with the EEOC, though, so she and her lawyer must think so. Lauren Odes, 29, worked in her data-entry job for just one week before she was let go. She claims that there was no dress code in place and that other employees wore very casual “athletic wear,” which makes sense given the fact that they were working in a warehouse instead of a traditional office environment. Odes claims, though, that, in the first few days on the job, her supervisors cautioned her that her outfits were too provocative, “her lips and hair, ‘too fresh,'” and her breasts too big. On one occasion, according to the Huffington Post, she was given a bathrobe to wear over her clothes.
Finally, she alleges that she was told that she was just “too hot” for the workplace. Gloria Allred has taken up the case. Odes’ Charge alleges gender- and religious-discrimination claims.
And where, you might ask, does religion play into this? The employer is owned by an Orthodox Jewish family and, Odes claims, they were trying to impose their religious beliefs on her with respect to appropriate attire. As if there weren’t enough irony in this story already, the employer is a lingerie company. It seems to me that the fact that the company sold, in Odes’ words, “thongs with hearts placed in the female genital area” would be evidence against Ms. Odes’ claim that she was targeted for her religious beliefs.
For my long-time readers, this story may seem a bit familiar. If so, it’s likely because this is not the first time I’ve had the occasion to write about employees who claim to have been fired for being too darn hot. I’ve written about similar stories on two other occasions–once back in 2008 and then, again, in 2010, when a female employee sued Citigroup, alleging that she was terminated for being “too sexy for her job.”
And people wonder why I love my job!