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Women Can Be Fired for Refusing to Wear Makeup, Court Rules

 
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on December 28th, 2004 that a female employee fired for refusing to wear makeup cannot sue her employer for sex discrimination. In 2000 Harrah's Resorts put into place a “Personal Best” policy that required female employees to wear their hair "teased, curled or styled," and wear "foundation/concealer and/or face powder, as well as blush and mascara," nail polish, and lipstick, while male bartenders only had to wear their hair above the collar and keep their nails clean and neatly trimmed. Darlene Jespersen, who worked the same bartending job in Reno for over two decades, was fired when she objected against the new standards. The 2-1 decision rejected Jespersen’s lawsuit against Harrah's, saying that she had not shown that feminine standards were significantly more burdensome than those imposed on men. In the dissenting opinion, Judge Sidney Thomas stated, "Harrah's fired Jespersen because of her failure to confirm to sex stereotypes, which is discrimination based on sex and is therefore impermissible under Title VII (of the US Civil Rights Act)."

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on December 28th, 2004 that a female employee fired for refusing to wear makeup cannot sue her employer for sex discrimination. In 2000 Harrah's Resorts put into place a “Personal Best” policy that required female employees to wear their hair "teased, curled or styled," and wear "foundation/concealer and/or face powder, as well as blush and mascara," nail polish, and lipstick, while male bartenders only had to wear their hair above the collar and keep their nails clean and neatly trimmed. Darlene Jespersen, who worked the same bartending job in Reno for over two decades, was fired when she objected against the new standards. The 2-1 decision rejected Jespersen’s lawsuit against Harrah's, saying that she had not shown that feminine standards were significantly more burdensome than those imposed on men. In the dissenting opinion, Judge Sidney Thomas stated, "Harrah's fired Jespersen because of her failure to confirm to sex stereotypes, which is discrimination based on sex and is therefore impermissible under Title VII (of the US Civil Rights Act)."
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