Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fire the Tomboy, Whatta You Mean--That's Sex Discrimination?

The Associated Press is reporting on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision reversing summary judgment in a sex discrimination case where a "Tomboy" clerk at the Heartland Inns hotel chain was fired for appearing "too masculine."

 Brenna Lewis had received two merit-pay increases while at her Heartland Inn's job and received praise from patrons of the hotel chain for her service.  Nonetheless, Heartland, fired Miss Lewis:  I'm quoting from the court of appeals decision:

"'After seeing Lewis, however, [a supervisor] told [Lewis' boss] that she was not sure Lewis was a 'good fit' for the front desk.  [The supervisor] called [Lewis's boss] a few days later and again raised the subject of Lewis' appearance. Lewis describes her own appearance as 'slightly more masculine,' and [her boss] has characterized it as 'an Ellen DeGeneres kind of look.'"

Preposterous!  Employers look like silly asses when they go down this path.  How they look, that, my dear readers,  is what should concern them.

1 comment:

  1. This is nothing surprising. That has been the law since Oncale v. Sundowner from the US Supremes. Making a job decision based on stereotyping of what a male or female should look like, or act like, is making that job decision based on gender-----which is illegal and prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The interesting fact about Oncale is that it involved 'male on male' bias. The 'roughneck' on the oil rig---not a description of their personalities, but of their job category---did not feel that Mr. Oncale 'acted like a man.' They did not like affectations of homsexuality. So then fired him.

    The High Court did NOT, however, find any protection based on sexual orientation (a conclusion this writer shares). Instead, they found that the boss had discriminated based on gender by requiring this employee to comform to the stereotype of a male.

    Indeed, the whole point of Title VII was to make stereotyping based on protected characteristics, such as race, sex, nationality, and color, illegal.

    The other thing that was not surprising, but was sad, is the fact that Federal Judges in the year 2010 STILL don't get it. How much more clear do we have to make it for ya? Discrimination is illegal and as Federal Judges, you are supposed to uphold the law, not bend it to meet the political barometer of that particular District.


    Oh well.

    BTW. This woman did not need the money anyway, since she is REALLY Ellen DeGereres. LOL.

    Hey Ellen. If you are done with Portia............... ::wink::