Boss Fires Employee for Refusing to Wear Mini Skirts & Wet T-Shirts

shhIt reads like something out of a legal thriller, but it may be one of the worst stories I've heard about this bad economy yet. A woman claims her employer instituted a dress code that included Mini Skirt Mondays and Wet T-Shirt Wednesdays. He slapped her butt. He asked to see her breasts. And when Trudy Nycole Anderson complained that she was being sexually harassed, she claims Derek Wright fired her.

That's right. Fired her. As in, he told the office manager she had to leave. As in, she didn't quit -- even though she was allegedly being put through some absolutely horrific treatment, the type that no one should have to put up with, no matter what.


And with the warning from economists today that we're headed into a second -- even worse -- recession, Anderson's story could well be just one of many. The single mom of three claims her boss knew she was between a rock and a hard place. Quitting would mean she couldn't feed her kids.

So she says she stayed. Despite requests for oral sex from the owner of the company. Despite her boss spraying the air in the office with a scent he told her was supposed to "arouse women." Despite questions about the status of her pubic hair and offers to shower together.

If even one of Anderson's allegations are true, it's no wonder she's suing the company. Each and every one of the acts Wright supposedly committed falls under the legal definition of sexual harassment, making the workplace a hostile place to be. It's sad that an employee would have to endure any of that.

But what's sadder still is the fact that Anderson worked for Wright from September of 2007 until her firing in February of this year. That's three and a half years. YEARS. Not days. Not weeks. Not months.

I can't be the only one who wondered "why did she stay?" But as a woman who has experienced workplace-based sexual harassment, I can tell you it's easy to say, "My butt would be outta there in a New York minute." In fact, it took me just a month working under a boss who made my life a living hell to file a report with the higher-ups detailing his inappropriate behavior. BUT I had a higher-up to turn to. And a history with the company. And it was 2001, before 9/11, in a different economy. And I had no kids depending on me.

Compare that to a single mom when the higher-up IS the problem, in an economy that's suffering. I can't blame her for holding out as long as she could.

Can you? Do you see these sorts of cases getting worse for American workers?


Image via Sarah G./Flickr

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