When employees spend many hours each week at their jobs, they want to feel like they work in a comfortable, non-hostile environment. If instead, they feel that they are being targeted for harassment or discrimination, they may find their workplace to be unbearable. Recently, a former employee of the Hofbrau at The Rim restaurant in San Antonio went to the Texas Workforce Commission, claiming that she faced discrimination at her workplace because of her Oktoberfest attire. She is also seeking damages for lost wages, stating that the harassment she endured forced her to resign.
The woman reported that she chose a skimpy beer garden costume to wear to work during the restaurant's Oktoberfest celebration. She claims that her managers informed her that other staff members would wear the same outfit, and they wanted her to wear it again for Halloween. When she came to work, she saw a male employee dressed in the same dress with a wig and overstuffed bra, wearing a name tag with her name on it.
According to her complaint, she felt humiliated and immediately went to management to discuss the incident with them. However, the managers dismissed it as a joke. She then turned in her resignation.
A manager at the Hofbrau is disputing her claims, saying that she was never encouraged to wear the dress and that the restaurant even reimbursed her for it. Regardless, the employee no longer felt comfortable at her workplace. She took the steps that she felt were necessary to try and obtain a sense of justice for the alleged discrimination. Any Texas employee in a similar situation may find it helpful to explore his or her options under the employment laws of our state.
Source: Kens 5, Restaurant employee files discrimination complaint for Oktoberfest costume, No author, Nov. 13, 2013