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Los Angeles restaurant worker says she was fired over new uniform

When an individual starts a new job, one of the first things he or she may review before showing up to work is the company's dress code or uniform policy. Employers may require or ban certain articles of clothing for safety reasons or to maintain a professional atmosphere. And although employees might wish that they could wear sandals into the office during the summer, most employees do not have any objections to what they are expected or required to wear.

But when the dress code suddenly changed for female workers at a restaurant in Los Angeles, one employee complained about the changes, raising concerns about the provocative skirts female workers had been asked to wear as part of their new uniform. After voicing her concerns about the new uniforms, the female worker was fired. The 23-year-old woman is now suing her former employer for sexual harassment, wrongful termination and unpaid wages.

According to the lawsuit, the woman began working at the restaurant, which is located in Westwood, in 2007. At that time, she did not have any concerns about what she was expected to wear.

Years later, her bosses had decided to change the dress requirement for female workers in an effort to increase business at the establishment. The new uniforms included a short, plaid skirt. In addition to wearing the "provocative outfits," the lawsuit states, the skirts were only fastened by a piece of Velcro, which could have easily caused the employees' skirts to come undone while working.

When the woman was informed about the new uniforms, she said that she was "appalled" and complained to her bosses about the outfits. The woman's employer did take her complaints under consideration and the skirts were no longer required. However, the lawsuit states that the restaurant then proceeded to cut the woman's hours and ended up firing the employee.

Source: NBC Southern California, "Former Restaurant Employee 'Appalled, Offended' By Skimpy Uniform," Robert Kovacik and Bill French, June 27, 2012

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