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article imageCalifornia waitress allegedly fired for not wearing makeup

By Nikki Weingartner     May 21, 2009 in Lifestyle
Violation of employment standards is not an uncommon or illegal reason for termination. A 27-year-old woman says she was canned after five years for her au naturel style because she refused to wear makeup at a San Diego area restaurant.
An "at will" employee can be terminated from their job for just about any reason, including no reason at all and although every state differs on the protection it provides these individuals. The right to fire is in the hands of the employer. Essentially, as long as the termination does not discriminate for race, gender, religion and other reasons, internal policy violation can be used as the terminating reason, even if it involves going bare-face.
Supported by a previous ruling of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the termination of an employee whose employer required women to wear makeup, a waitress recently received a pink slip for failing to sport some added colour.
In an interview by the Union Tribune, the situation of employment at Trophy's was explained in simple terms:
The restaurant was sold earlier this year, and she says the new management wanted the women to doll up. {Shenoa} Vild says she got the ax in late April when she wouldn't.
Listed as "California's premier restaurant for quality casual dining in a sporting environment", Trophy's Restaurant in San Diego's Mission Valley area serves its outdoor casual fare such as burgers and pulled port sandwiches, most of which are over $11 and up to $15 for meat and bread, in an environment that is not only fun, but states that it treats its staff with "dignity and respect," unless they refuse to wear cosmetics. For Vild, her natural California girl style was allegedly not good enough for the environment.
Before the restaurant was assumed by new management, Vild's fresh-faced appearance was acceptable enough during her five years of employment, with her former boss Nicole Alex saying she was "aces." Vild trained new employees, was a great employee, had no customer complaints about her appearance and was a popular waitress amongst customers.
Living in a beach area, the 27-year-old's bleach blond hair and naturally pretty complexion were perfect for setting the local tone for the establishment that even has a surfboard on the wall. But the new owner did not agree, she says, stating in the piece that
"If she would have made the same accommodations that the new ownership was asking, she'd still be here.”
Vild did conform to the the new dress code uniform of jeans and pressed white shirts but just wasn't willing to apply the personally despised makeup to her face, although the new owner says that she was the "only" employee who failed to conform to the new standards. That resistance placed her on the ousted list.
Although the decision to terminate the vibrant young woman seems wrong, a local employment right's director confirms that it would be a really tough battle to fight based upon "at will" employment rights. However, the former Trophy's waitress took her experience and vibrancy to another establishment, sans product.
For a shot of the staff at the attempted upscale burger and beer joint, you can visit the location at:
7510 Hazard Center Drive
Suite 215
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 296-9600
Or take a look at the picture online...and decide for yourself if all of those waitresses are wearing cosmetics.
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