News and Commentary

Woman Sues For Human Rights Violation After Being Ordered To Wear Bra To Work

A woman in Alberta, Canada, was told by her employer to wear a bra. She said no, so she got fired, she says.

Now, she has filed a human rights complaint against the employer, the Osoyoos Golf Club.

Christina Schell, a waitress, was fired after refusing to comply with the dress code that requires female staff to wear a bra, she says. “It’s gender-based and that’s why it’s a human rights issue,” she told the CBC. “I have nipples and so do the men.”

Schell said she threw away her bras two years ago, not as a statement on women’s rights but simply because they were uncomfortable. “They’re horrible,” said the 25-year-old who started working at the golf club’s restaurant in May.

She says she had no inkling being braless was an issue until a few weeks later when she received the restaurant’s new dress code. It stated: “Women must wear either a tank top or bra under their uniform shirt.”

Because she served tables at an outdoor patio in hot weather, Schell had no desire to wear an undershirt, either.

“It was absurd,” she said. “Why do you get to dictate what’s underneath my clothes?”

Schell said she went to the club’s general manager, Doug Robb, who told her the dress code was for her protection. “He said, ‘I know what happens in golf clubs when alcohol’s involved.'”

When she refused, she was fired. A date for her case has not yet been set.