Friday, June 4, 2010
For Seinfeld fans out there, you might recall the episode where George was interviewing secretaries for his job with the Yankees. To one candidate, he said that she was simply too good-looking and that he could not hire her because he would not be able to concentrate on his work. He hired a rather normal looking female secretary instead.
Fact now mimics fiction. From the Village Voice:
Everything about Debrahlee Lorenzana [picture at left] is hot. Even her name sizzles. At five-foot-six and 125 pounds, with soft eyes and flawless bronze skin, she is J.Lo curves meets Jessica Simpson rack meets Audrey Hepburn elegance—a head-turning beauty.
In many ways, the story of her life has been about getting attention from men—both the wanted and the unwanted kind. But when she got fired last summer from her job as a banker at a Citibank branch in Midtown—her bosses cited her work performance—she got even hotter. She sued Citigroup, claiming that she was fired solely because her bosses thought she was too hot.
This is the way Debbie Lorenzana tells it: Her bosses told her they couldn't concentrate on their work because her appearance was too distracting. They ordered her to stop wearing turtlenecks. She was also forbidden to wear pencil skirts, three-inch heels, or fitted business suits. Lorenzana, a 33-year-old single mom, pointed out female colleagues whose clothing was far more revealing than hers: "They said their body shapes were different from mine, and I drew too much attention," she says.
All kidding aside, this raises a Jesperson-like appearance discrimination issue under Title VII. It appears that she does have a claim since she is not conforming to the stereotype of what a "normal" woman should look like, no?
Hat Tip: Randy Enochs