Saturday, August 13, 2005

Are you "hot" enough?

Are you Hot? Well, maybe not “Hot” enough! The California Supreme Court doesn’t have the hots for the babes. In fact, the Court was decidedly cool to an employer whose supervisor directed a subordinate to fire an older female worker who wasn’t the supervisor’s definition of “hot”. The case: Yanowitz v. L”Oreal USA, Inc. (Aug. 11, 2005). The facts: The boss was head of a cosmetics department in a retail outlet. He told his female subordinate to fire her employee because the employee, an older woman, didn’t look “hot” like the young lady he pointed out as an alternative. When the subordinate ignored the order, she was harassed by her boss and eventually quit because of his hostility towards her. She sued the employer claiming she was harassed and punished for resisting an illegal order. She claimed men who were of all appearances were not required to be “hot” as a condition of employment, and that she was being ordered to practice gender discrimination.

Well, there you are: Gender discrimination based on men having the right to be ugly, or at least not “hot”, while women are held to a standard of being “good lookers”. The Court said a lot in this case (don’t they always), but basically: The harassed employee could make her case by showing the Boss had reason to know she didn’t carry out his order because she resisted discrimination, even if she didn’t tell him so directly. Additionally, she didn’t have to be outright fired to make her case. She could prove her work environment was “materially” worse (what does that mean?) because of his mean behavior toward her.

So, if you think you’re less than “hot”, or that your boss is picking on someone who is “less than hot” (this is not a legal term of art!), give the employee rights lawyer a call!

Employee Rights Attorney Frank Pray
5160 Campus Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

(v) 949.251.1006
(f) 949.251.1005

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