More restaurants and bars may be trying to attract customers by having their waitresses don skimpy outfits, but not all employees think it's fair for showing skin be part of their job requirements.
Courtney Scaramella, 23, a waitress who had been employed by O'Hara's bar in Westwood, Calif., since 2008, is claiming she was fired for complaining about the bar's new dress code-- one that required her to wear a plaid schoolgirl-style skirt held together with Velcro, UCLA's Daily Bruin is reporting.
Now, Scaramella is suing the bar, its co-owner and the manager for sexual harassment, wrongful termination and unpaid wages.
According to the Daily Bruin, Scaramella wrote a formal complaint about the outfits and the requirement to wear them was lifted soon after. But not long after that, she claims her hours were reduced and that she was eventually fired.
KTLA is reporting Scaramella wasn't the only one who felt uncomfortable with the new dress code.
"It wasn't fair to me, it wasn't fair to the other girls who were working there," she told the station. "Everyone was offended by it. Nobody wanted to do it, but unfortunately, jobs are hard to come by right now and some people were stuck."
Scaramella told a local CBS affiliate that the uniform wasn't the only humiliating aspect of her job. She also claims fans were placed on the floor by the register to blow the skirts up, and that female patrons coming into the bar were evaluated on their looks and then given free drinks if they were considered up to par.
The move on the part of O'Hara's towards less clothing for their waitresses coincides with the recent boom of so-called "breastaurants."
Modeled in the same vein as Hooters, establishments with scantily clad waitresses are experiencing a surge in popularity. According to the Associated Press, the top three chains behind Hooters have seen sales grow by 30 percent or more in the last year.
But lawsuits over women having comply with skimpy dress codes -- or be fit enough to wear them -- have earned significant attention in the past. Last summer, Gloria Alred represented nine waitresses who claimed they were fired for being too old to wear a new flapper-style outfit required by the casino where they worked.
In response to this latest suit, an attorney representing the owners of O'Hara's told KTLA that Sacarmella was not fired, but that she quit.
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