Friday, July 5, 2013

No Brazilian Wax, No Job - COTW #150

Sometimes, the complaint really does a nice job of laying the facts bare to support the claims with more than just naked allegations. OK, I planned on a pun-laden post here, but most of the puns I could come up with seemed horribly inappropriate (even for this blog).

The plaintiff was a trainee at a spa. Let's just check out the complaint (via Eric Meyer):
2. On October 1, 2012, Finley attended her first day of “training,” which was run by an EWC Corporate representative. The corporate trainer announced that, as part of this “training” program, Finley and her co -workers were required to perform “Brazilian - style” waxes on each other the following day. A “Brazilian” is a method and style of public hair removal, in which one applies a heated adhesive wax to the pubic hair on or near another’s anus and genitalia, and then forcibly removes that wax and hair by “tearing” the adhesive from the person’s skin. 
3. Finley refused to comply with this “training,” because it was humiliating, painful, embarrassing, and discriminatory. Moreover, Finley was scheduled to begin menstruating on the same day she was expected to have the Brazilian wax, and expected to be extremely sensitive in the most private region of her body.
4. When Finley explained her opposition to the mandatory “Brazilian” waxing, and explained that receiving a “Brazilian” wax would be extremely painful and humiliating because of her menstruation, the corporate trainer responded that she should “put in a fresh tampon and take and ibuprofen and you’ll be fine.” 
5. Finley promptly approached the owner of the Wexford Spa, and explained to him that she refused to submit to a “Brazilian” wax performed on her by her co-workers, and that the Employers could not require her to do so. Finley was terminated immediately.
And, in case it wasn't clear:
22. Finley objected to the Brazilian wax portion of the training because it is often an extremely painful experience, because she did not want to expose her anus and genitalia to her co-workers, because she did not want her co-workers to touch her anus and genitalia, and because she simply did not want to have her anus and pubic hair removed.
Well, that's something I think a lot of people can relate to. The complaint includes claims for sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. It also includes a creative claim for wrongful termination in violation of public privacy. What's the public policy? Invasion of privacy torts and the sexual battery statute.

Not surprisingly, this case has received some media attention - like this Huffington Post article - for the important employment law issues, I'm sure (HT: Mike Chittenden via email).