A woman is suing her former employer after being fired for refusing to wear a bra at work

A waitress has been reportedly fired for refusing to wear a bra to work [Photo: Getty]
A waitress has been reportedly fired for refusing to wear a bra to work [Photo: Getty]

A waitress is suing her former employer for a breach of human rights after a “sexist” change in dress code meant she had to wear a bra to work.

Christine Schell, 25, from Canada, stopped wearing a bra three years ago for comfort and health reasons.

The Daily Mail reports that when she started working as a waitress at Greenside Grill in the Osoyoos Golf Club in May this year, customers complained about her being braless and this prompted the introduction of a new dress code.

The code stated that “women must wear either a tank top or bra under their uniform shirt”.

But having refused to sign Ms Schell claims she was subsequently fired.

Speaking to CBA News, about the incident Ms Schell said she chose to bring the case before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal because she noticed men didn’t have the same restrictions on their dress code.

“It’s gender-based and that’s why it’s a human rights issue,” she said. “I have nipples and so do the men.”

Though she is still waiting for the outcome of her human rights complaint to find out if having to wear a bra was a justifiable work requirement, Ms Schell is hoping to throw a light on the issue of dress codes in the workplace.

“It doesn’t affect anybody’s ability to do their job,” she said.

Should women be forced to wear a bra to work? [Photo: Getty]
Should women be forced to wear a bra to work? [Photo: Getty]

It isn’t the first time bra-wearing enforcement at work has created headlines.

Last year 22-year-old barmaid Kate Hannah took to social media to write a strongly worded post after being sacked for not wearing a bra to her pub job.

Posting a photo showing exactly what she had worn to work (a grey t-shirt, FYI), Hannah wrote: “Yesterday, an inappropriate sexual remark was made to me by my manager’s brother.”

“I felt uncomfortable, objectified and shocked that this had happened. Unfortunately, [the manager] saw fit to deal with the situation by telling me that I’m not allowed into work in future unless I’m wearing a bra.”

Hannah said the experience at the Bird and Beer in Beverley, Yorkshire had left her “feeling body-shamed and completely shocked.”

“I am absolutely disgusted with the blatant lack of respect for my right as a woman to wear whatever makes me personally comfortable. Nobody should EVER feel the need to hide themselves in order to stay away from unwanted sexual comments/behaviour,” she finished.

In response to the allegations, Hannah’s former employer released a statement “We can confirm that no employees have been dismissed from the company regarding these allegations,” the restaurant wrote.

And back in 2016 Nicola Thorp, a 27-year-old from London, was sent home from her temping job at PwC for turning up to the company’s HW in flat shoes, and not the required heels.

“I expressed my confusion as to why [I was being turned away from work], and they explained that flat shoes are not part of their dress code for women,” she told the Evening Standard.

“The supervisor [from Portico, a company that PwC outsources its reception services to] told me that I would be sent home without pay unless I went to the shop and bought a pair of two to four inch heels. I refused and was sent home.”

But rather than just complain about the insult, Thorp’s taking action and campaigning for it to be made illegal to force women to wear heels – and make-up – to work.

She’s since launched a petition on the Parliament website calling for an end to this sexist injustice.

Yahoo UK has contacted the Osoyoos Golf Club for comment and will update the article if a response is received.

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