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Last month, Lauren Odes (above) was fired from her part-time job at Manhattan lingerie warehouse Native Intimates because, she says, her employers said her curvy figure and provocative attire were too "distracting" for the workplace. Now, Odes is filing a complaint against Native Intimates for religious and sexual discrimination, claiming that the Orthodox Jewish-owned company was so offended by her curves that her supervisor told her to tape her breasts down, Yentl-style, while on the job. Feel free to insert your own boob-related pun here (Her cans got her canned. Her rack got her the sack. I could go on from here, but I shan't because you guys could probably do better than me and anyway, I'm classy like that).
Although Odes was told repeatedly that her wardrobe was too provocative for the workplace, she says she was not aware of an official dress code for the job, and that her employers were more offended by her body shape than her attire. "When I first started working there, I asked what the dress code was, and I was just told to look around and see what everyone else was wearing," Odes said in a press conference Monday. "So I did. The dress was very casual athletic wear to business attire."
In addition to being told to tape her breasts down to make them seem smaller, Odes was also forced by her supervisor to wear a bright red bathrobe over her outfit, prompting the derision of her co-workers. "She told me to sit at my desk and wear it all day. I felt completely humiliated," Odes said. She claims she was out shopping for an ankle-length sweater to cover up with instead when she received the call from her supervisor saying that she'd been terminated.
Although many Orthodox Jews are offended by what they deem "immodest" female attire, Odes and Gloria Allred argue that employers' religious beliefs shouldn't dictate what their employees can and can't wear. "I understand that there are Orthodox Jewish men who may have their views about how a woman should dress ... but I do not feel that any employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me," Odes said. True that, yo. Also, is anyone else befuddled by the fact that Orthodox Jews are running a lingerie company called Native Intimates in the first place? If so, feel free to insert your own joke about yarmulke-shaped push-up bras/lace-covered, diamond-studded sheets with a hole in the middle here. (I'd do it for you, but y'know...gotta keep it classy.)