A 32-year-old woman from Long Island in New York, United States filed a discrimination lawsuit against a timeshare company who allegedly fired her for "dressing too much like a man."
Chakia Harvell is seeking $1.5 million (S$2.1 million) in damages from Wyndham Vacation Ownership, as reported by the New York Post yesterday, Nov. 4. The company has yet to issue a statement on the matter, as of this writing.
Harvell said her managers, despite knowing that technical difficulties hindered her from clocking in on a company iPad, fired her for supposed tardiness. She claimed, however, that her being late is not the actual reason why she was dismissed - the company allegedly had a problem with her "unfeminine" clothing.
Harvell, who has stated she is a lesbian, recalled that during her job interview, a manager allowed her to wear a tie, blazer and trousers at the office, the report said. But when she started working in the office, a human resources (HR) officer pulled her aside to discuss her clothing,
"She would just mention, 'Did you go back to the guidelines as far as the dress code?'" Harvell was quoted as saying. "And the next day, she'd say, 'I sent the email again, did you get to the dress code part?'"
The HR officer said Harvell's office ensemble was not professional. Harvell was asked to "observe the ladies" in the company's sales department who "uniformly wore dresses or skirts with high heels."
"It made me feel bad, to the point where I thought I can't afford to change myself into something I'm not," she said in the report. "People should understand everyone's different. Don't look at how I dress, because it's a little different than you, and judge me and think I can't perform."