A US woman is suing a Pittsburgh waxing salon that she claims fired her for refusing to receive a Brazilian wax treatment during training, and to perform one on a co-worker.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says that on her first day as a ‘wax specialist’ a corporate trainer from the chain of salons that hired her, European Wax Center, told her and her colleagues that they would have to perform the bikini wax treatment on each other the following day.
For the uninitiated, Brazilian wax treatments can be very painful and having one performed would have required the plaintiff to expose herself to her colleagues.
The plaintiff refused to comply with the training because it was ‘humiliating, painful, embarrassing, and discriminatory’, according to the lawsuit filed with a United States District Court. And she alleges that when she communicated this to her employer, she was fired.
The woman’s lawyer, Vincent Mersich, told Huffington Post that the dismissal was ‘wrongful’ and that it involved gender discrimination – the plaintiff alleges that only women had to complete this portion of the training.
“It’s the sort of thing we don’t think an employer should have the ability to control with respect to their employees,” Mersich said. “They can’t expect them to be comfortable exposing their anus and genitalia to co-workers … or to perform that waxing on their co-workers.”
“Obviously it’s part of the job,” he added. “But when you include the co-workers in the scenario, the dynamic changes quite a bit.”
It gets worse. When the plaintiff mentioned that she was to begin menstruating that day, the woman trainer allegedly told her to “pop a fresh tampon, take some ibuprofen, and you’ll be fine.”
The plaintiff filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. The EEOC issued a ‘Notice of Right to Sue’ in May.