Fight to go braless: Fired golf club employee launches human rights case A Canadian woman has filed a human rights complaint against her former employers who, she says, discriminated against her with their requirement that female staff wear a bra in the workplace.
Christina Schell, 25, from British Columbia, filed the complaint against the Osoyoos Golf Club for enforcing what she says is a sexist requirement because it only applies to one gender.
“It’s gender-based and that’s why it’s a human rights issue,” Schell told . “I have nipples and so do the men.”
The complaint prompted a discussion on whether or not employers can enforce a rule on woman’s undergarments, which will now be heard at a BC Human Rights Tribunal. The hearing date has yet to be set.
Schell said she ditched bras more than two years ago because she finds them “horrible” to wear. However, weeks after starting her job as a server at the golf club’s restaurant, Schell said she received an updated dress code which stated that: “Women must wear either a tank top or bra under their uniform shirt.”
Schell said because she serves tables outside in hot weather, she refused to wear an undershirt either. “It was absurd,”she said. “Why do you get to dictate what’s underneath my clothes?”
When Schell complained to the golf club’s manager, Doug Robb, about the unfair requirements, she said he told her the rule was for her protection: “He said, ‘I know what happens in golf clubs when alcohol’s involved.’”
Schell says she was eventually fired for refusing to comply with the rule, prompting her to file the human rights complaint.
Employment lawyer Nadia Zama told that Schell may have a case on her hands if she can prove that there’s no occupational requirement, like safety reasons, behind the gender-specific dress code.
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