Lauren Odes, a 29-year-old voluptuous blonde, was fired from her midtown Manhattan job for what she claims was being “too hot” for work. Odes is now suing her former bosses for gender and religious discrimination. Her bosses were Orthodox Jews.
Odes was working as a coordinator of shipments of samples to customers at the 5th Avenue headquarters of Native Intimate’s, a wholesale lingerie company. She believes she was wrongfully terminated because of the size of her breasts and shape of her body. At one point, her boss had asked Odes to tape down her breasts. Odes was appalled at the suggestion.
Odes’ attorney, Gloria Allred says, “The treatment was discriminatory, profoundly humiliating and unlawful.”
The allegations of the gender and religious discrimination were outlined in the complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Odes was hired on April 24th. Her supervisors often complained about her physical appearance and clothing. Odes insists that there was no dress code. Her co-workers wore tank tops or athletic wear.
On Odes’ second day of work, she wore a short sleeve, yet still conservative, purple dress and was told by the Native Intimate’s owners that the dress was “drawing too much attention and should not be worn for her own safety”.
The following work day, Odes wore a hooded sweatshirt but was still criticized by her bosses. The next day she wore a knee-length dress with a shawl over her shoulders so that she might please her bosses. Her bosses were still unhappy. They told her to wear a red bathrobe over her dress.
“I felt ridiculous and extremely embarrassed, others in the office were laughing and asking why I was wearing it and I told them what I was told,” Odes said.
Odes removed the robe and went to buy another outfit that would be appropriate for her bosses. She then got a phone call saying that she was fired, which she believes is because of the shape of her body and the size of her breasts.
She believes she was fired because of gender and religious discrimination.
“I do not feel an employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me when I’m working in a business that’s not a synagogue, but sells things with hearts on the female genitals and boy shorts for women that say hot in the buttocks area,” Odes, who is in fact Jewish, said.