Woman was sacked for not wearing a bra to work so she's suing them for breaching her human rights

Lowenna Waters
Sunday 02 September 2018 12:00
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Picture:(Anetlanda / iStock Getty )

A woman has sued her employer for breaching her human rights after she was told that she had to wear a bra to work.

25-year-old Christina Schell, from Alberta, Western Canada, was fired from her job as a waitress at the Osoyoos Golf Club, Osoyoos, because of her refusal to wear a bra while on duty.

She refused to comply with an updated dress code mandate, that specified that when she was waiting tables outside, she had to wear either a bra or an undershirt, reports the Daily Mail.

She claims that she didn't realise that being braless was an issue, until she received the restaurant's new dress code, which stated:

Women must wear either a tank top or bra under their uniform shirt.

When she confronted the restaurant's general manager, Doug Robb, she was told that the new mandate was for her own protection.

Speaking to CBA News, she claims he said:

I know what happens in golf clubs when alcohol's involved.

Schell stopped wearing bras over two years ago, because she finds them 'horrible'. She said that after she was fired, she decided to bring the case before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal because she noticed men didn't have the same restrictions on their dress code. Speaking to the local news site, she said:

It's gender-based and that's why it's a human rights issue. 

I have nipples and so do the men.

Speaking to CBC news, Employment lawyer Nadia Zaman said:

If they simply require that female employees wear a bra but then they don't have a similar requirement for males, and they can't really justify that … then there is a risk that their policy's going to be deemed to be discriminatory.

She continued:

They're basically saying that sexual harassment and gender-based dress codes are off the menu, and they're no longer being tolerated.

In 2016, the Ontario Human Rights Commission called for an end to sexist dress codes, which stated that dress codes couldn't force women to wear uncomfortable clothing like high heels or short skirts as their work uniform.

This isn't the first time that women have felt that they're being discriminated against because they've been forced to wear a bra.

In June 2017, waitress Kate Hannah, 22, alleged that she was fired from her job as a waitress at the Bird and Beer in Beverly, East Riding of Yorkshire, when her manager tried to deal with inappropriate sexual comments made to her while she was at work by forcing her to wear a bra. The restaurant denied the claims.

Kate Gosek, a 19-year-old cook at a McDonald's restaurant in Manitoba, Canada, says she faced a similar situation with her employer when she expressed a wish to go braless.

Speaking to CBS she said:

[My manager] just told me that I should put on a bra because, McDonald’s — we are a polite restaurant and no one needs to see that.

McDonald's has since issued an apology for the incident, saying that it was the result of a 'misunderstanding in the application of management policy'.

Schell is still waiting for an update on her claim to the Human Rights Commission, to find out whether not wearing a bra is a legitimate reason for dismissal.

indy100 has contacted Osoyoos Golf Club and Doug Robb for comment, and will update this article when it is received.

HT CBA News

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