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Mosquito Bit Barista

Mosquito Bit Barista

Q. I took a job as a bikini-clad barista thinking it would be a lark. It’s not. Mosquitoes bite every square inch unless I drown myself in Deet and dress code, HR, HR issues guys get out of their truck and get way too close to “see what you got up close and personal.”

The job, however, was the only one I could get that lets me keep my class schedule and also the tips are great. I went to the owner and asked if I could cover up, at least when the customers are fewer, and he said bikinis were what brought the customers in. We argued and then he fired me.

My professor said I should sue for sex harassment. True?

A. Clearly some of your customers sexually harassed you. Can you sue the owner, as he exposed you to the problem? Not if you took the job with your eyes wide open.

When 22 female cocktail servers sued Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for sex discrimination claiming that wearing skimpy, provocative costumes exposed them to humiliating treatment, they lost their case. According to Superior Court judge Nelson Johnson, the women knew what they were getting into when hired, given that they auditioned for the job wearing the revealing costumes and serving drinks to faux customers.

The servers also sued for weight discrimination, because the casino fired any server who gained more than 7 percent over what she weighed when hired unless she had a valid medical reason. Johnson dismissed this claim as well, stating the servers agreed to this requirement when hired.

Your best recourse? Get a job, potentially in a grocery store that can accommodate your class schedule, allows you to wear clothes and where you don’t have to swat mosquitoes.



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Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR and owner of the Alaska-based management consulting firm, The Growth Company Inc. consults with companies and individuals to create real solutions to real workplace challenges. Their services include HR On-call (a-la-carte HR), investigations, mediation, management/employee training, executive coaching, 360/employee reviews and organizational strategy services. You can reach Lynne @, via her workplace 911/411 blog, or @lynnecurry10 on twitter.

One Comment

  1. Agreed. While it may not be ideal, the employee, most likely, signed one or more forms indicating awareness and acceptance of the working conditions. Don’t accept a job if you don’t like the job. Or, if you take the job, then figure out how to leverage the job to get you something better.

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