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9th Circuit: Make-up requirement for waitresses not sex discrimination

[JURIST] In an 2-1 opinion written by Judge A. Wallace Tashima, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a casino's requirement that its waitresses wear make-up while serving beverages does not constitute sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. The case developed after Harrah's Casino, located in Reno, NV, implemented new employee guidelines requiring different gender specific standards for male and female employees. Plaintiff Darlene Jespersen, a bartender for nearly 20 years, refused to wear make-up and was terminated. She claimed that such a policy constituted disparate treatment sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In dismissing the claim, Tashima noted that resolution involves "weighing the relative burdens that particular requirements impose on workers of one sex against the distinct requirements imposed on workers of the other sex." The opinion held that Jespersen did not provide sufficient evidence that a make-up and nail polish requirement imposed a greater burden than men's grooming standards. Read the opinion here. [PDF]

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