Society

New York City Waitress Says She Was Sexually Harassed For Wearing Jeans, Files Federal Complaint

| by Nicholas Roberts
The Pigalle In New York City.The Pigalle In New York City.

A Manhattan waitress has accused her co-workers of sexual harassment after her boss derided her for looking "too hot" in the jeans she was wearing, a federal discrimination complaint reads.

Vanessa Lopez, 24, filed the complaint after a negative experience at work on a day during the summer of 2015, according to the New York Post. Staff at the Pigalle restaurant were told that they could dress down during the World Cup, so Lopez came to work in her American Eagle jeans.

Her manager, Lucille Thomas, was reportedly not happy with Lopez's choice of clothing.  

“The minute she saw me, she looked me up and down and said, ‘I don’t like the way they look on you. You’re too much,’” Lopez told the Post.

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Lopez said she felt embarrassed and singled out by her boss's remarks, which were then followed by Thomas' abrupt cancelation of the casual-clothing policy due to the clothing choices of some employees, according to Daily Mail and New York Post.

Lopez claims that when Thomas made the policy change, she was looking at her.

The complaint, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, says Lopez had been working at Pigalle since 2013 and that her problems only began after Thomas publicly scolded her. Lopez claimed the repeated name-calling, touching and grabbing by other employees which she was subjected to afterwards led her to file the complaint.

She said that she was "definitely singled out," and Daily Mail reports that Lopez suspected that Thomas, a middle-aged woman, was perhaps jealous of her looks. Thomas told Lopez her "bubbly personality" attracted the wrong kind of attention and threatened her with loss of employment if she decided to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, the complaint reads, according to the New York Post.

“The victim was blamed for all of this and then warned she would get fired if she brought a lawsuit," said Joshua Friedman, Lopez's attorney. "It doesn’t get much worse than that."

Sources: New York Post, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Pigalle/Facebook