A New Jersey woman says her hourglass figure cost her her job at a lingerie company. Now she's fighting back, calling her treatment discriminatory.
Lauren Odes says her supervisors at Native Intimates, a Garment District firm owned by Orthodox Jews, told her she was too hot for the job — and canned her days later.
The Jewish 29-year-old said one female supervisor asked her to tape down her breasts and suggested she wear her boyfriend's oversized clothes to work, telling her the Orthodox bosses disapproved.
"It was very shocking, very humiliating," said Odes, who said the comments reduced her to tears.
Finally, when Odes showed up to work in a tight dress with a plunging back that exposed her bra and stockings, the supervisor gave her a bathrobe to cover up and ordered her to go shopping for other clothes. Just after Odes left, she was called and summarily fired, she said.
The real kicker, Odes said, was the work environment.
"I was working in a business that is not a synagogue but is instead selling thongs with hearts that are placed in the female genitalia area and boy shorts for women that say 'hot' in the buttocks area," Odes said in the complaint she filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The treatment wasn't just hypocritical for a lingerie company, Odes maintains, but was also discriminatory against her as a woman and as a non-Orthodox Jew. She has hired celebrity civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred.
"No woman should be told that her breasts are too large, her body too appealing and her appearance too attractive for the male leadership," Allred said.
One former male coworker of Odes at Native Intimates disagreed with Odes' claims, telling the New York Post that the clothes she wore to work were "not appropriate."
Of Odes' charge that the firing was hypocritical for a company whose offices were filled with underwear displays, he said, "It's what we sell, but it's not the work environment."