What is it with salon and spa companies firing people for doing things that are completely within their personal rights? First there was the hairstylist fired for shaving her head in support of her sister’s cancer battle, now there’s a spa worker who says she was fired for refusing to receive a Brazilian wax as part of her job training.
Jennifer Finley of Wexford, Pa. is suing the waxing chain European Wax Center because she says she was terminated after refusing to perform or receive a Brazilian wax as part of her training. Finley maintains she was told on, on day 1 of training, that the next day she and a female coworker would be required to perform Brazilian waxes on one another. Her lawyer, Vincent Mersich, told the HuffPost:
“It’s the sort of thing we don’t think an employer should have the ability to control with respect to their employees. They can’t expect them to be comfortable exposing their anus and genitalia to coworkers … or to perform that waxing on their coworkers. Obviously, it’s part of the job, But when you include the coworkers in the scenario, the dynamic changes quite a bit.”
Uh, YEAH. Brazilian waxes are no joke,They’re painful, they take quite a while, and they’re pretty, well, personal—having hair ripped out of your nether regions is nothing you want to enter into without full consent, because your entire genital area, including the anus, is exposed. (Side note: Telling employees on day 1 of training that they’d have to both perform and undergo a Brazilian on day 2? European Wax Centers, at least build up to the Brazilian! How about starting with a little chin or lip wax?!? You don’t want inexperienced waxers hurting each other in their ladyparts!)
Anyway, Finley refused to get or perform a wax, citing that she was supposed to start menstruating on the same day of the waxing. She claims she was told by the trainer: ”pop a fresh tampon, take some ibuprofen, and you’ll be fine.” She refused again and was referred to the spa owner, who fired her. Within weeks of her October dismissal, she filed complaints, and her lawsuit against European Wax Center was filed on June 27th.
Finley clearly has a good case against this sketchy spa company, and I hope she wins. It’s not ok to ask anyone to expose themselves to others in a workplace setting, even if it’s for on-the-job training in a profession where yes, you have to look at and touch other people’s exposed areas. Finley says her ultimate hope, in addition to receiving damages, back pay, and attorney’s fees, is that European Spa Company will stop asking employees to participate in this an embarrassing, sensitive, and personal process as part of their training.