Any lawyers-advice?

  1. Thought maybe I can get some feelback for my best friend. She works for a upscale dept. store for 21 years (will remain nameless). She just got thru chemo in December for her reoccurance of breast cancer, had a double mast. and will get implants. She dresses in St. John knits and Castelberry suits for work and carries her LV's. She looks wonderful. She only has about 1/2 inch of hair and her wigs are making her get blisters so she has stopped wearing them and are wearing beautiful scarves to work. I sent her about 50 of them. Her boss has made comments the past few weeks that she does not like my friend wearing scarves. She calls her a babuska lady. Then her boss had the nerve to bring her into the human resourses office so they could discuss how they do not like her wearing scarves and maybe she can find something more appropriate to wear. I mean-she just had a year of fighting cancer with chemo and had very little time off work and is a top producer. I feel this is so wrong of them. She wants to call them on this but does not know what direction to go. Any thoughts? Her lawyer is away for 2 weeks so she can't get to see her but she wants to be prepared for work next week. Just thought I could get some imput for her.

  2. I don't have any advice. I would just like to say I feel for your friend. The same thing happened to my cousin when she got sick. They complaned that she didn't want to wear wigs and wore scarves. They gave her flack about it, but when she threatened legal action they back off. Maybe just a threat would work for your friend? It's ashame they treat sick people like that.
  3. This is so outrageous! I can't for the life of me figure out why wearing scarves would bother the powers-that-be! It's not going to bother the customers. Heck, it wouldn't bother me if she came to work without the scarf! The customers are going to understand the situation. For various reasons, you can't always manage a wig or even a scarf after chemo. I would especially think if they are making comments like "babushka" lady....there is clear discrimation going on!
  4. I would much rather see this courageous woman a la natural than in a wig which I usually can tell is a wig. She needs to enlighten her supervisors and do it with grace and confidence that she is in the right. I am not a lawyer but this is a pretty easy case to call. She should wear her pink ribbon every day, it will increase her customers committement to her and their company, and she should have her colleagues do the same. It is all about educating the other people around her and if all else fails, she can as a matter of factly mention, "well if you would like my attorney to contact your attorney I'm sure they can help enlighten you as to my legal rights and position."
  5. Is there a specific store policy regarding headwear? Unless she's violating a specific policy regarding headscarfs, I don't think they have a right to comment on her dress. I would suggest that if they don't lay off and/or point out specifically which dress code she is violating, she should state that her attorney will be more than happy to address any issues they may have with her attire since this does not affect her work performance.
  6. Im hoping you will get some legal advice soon !!!. I cannot imagine that this situation is legal. I believe her human rights have been violated.
    Please keep us posted.
  7. i'm not a lawyer (but i intend to be in a few years), but unless the store has a specific dress code policy againt wearing headcoverings unless they're for religious reasons, they cannot do anything about her scarves. if they have one, she cannot do much, unfortunately, but if i were her, i'd also refuse to wear a wig in protest (if her boss doesn't like a scarf, imagine how much less he/she will like post-cancer hair regrowth). after all, it is a head covering.

    she CANNOT, however, harass her, call her names, make her workplace uncomfortable, or have her fired because of her illness and it's results as long as she can do her job. if it continues, i'd advise her to talk to her boss, and if that's not working, go above her head - call HR and hire a lawyer. sue her boss and the store if she is penalized at work because of her illness.
  8. I am a lawyer- but I do not specialize in employment law- however, I do believe that the company has to make a reasonable acommodation (permitting her to wear the scarf) under these circumstances, nor can they create an uncomfortable work environment or harrass her. In fact, even if there is a written policy, she may very well be able to object and wear the scarf because of her illness (and may qualify under the American with Disabilities Act - albeit only temporarily). I would strongly advise her to seek legal counsel- but in the meantime I will talk to one of the employment attorneys where I work and find out more for her. I will post again tomorrow with some more specific information after I speak with the employment attorney for you.

    I give her a ton of credit, i know how hard it is after watching my mom go through the exact same thing. People are so insensitive, I just hope that she realizes how courageous she is - I will definitely get her the info tomorrow!
  9. That is just wrong. I hope she won't have much of these encounters until her attorney gets back.
  10. Thank you for all the support for my friend. :love:
    I am going to read her the posts tomorrow and maybe she and I can draft a letter that will state her point in that they have no right to do this to her. For her boss to call her names for wearing the scarves I felt that was the start of something bigger to come. There is no policy on scarves as far as I know because other people at work wear crochet hats and some have worn scarves before. My friend is usually too cold to not have something on her head but the wigs had to go. I know her customers support her and she has offered so many of them advice and support in their battles with Breast Cancer. She never let her cancer get her down and has the most positive attitude one would ever see, she blows people away by her positive attitude and her clients who have cancer are inspired by her. It really upsets me to see management treat her like dirt. I really want to let you all know how much your support has meant to me.
    Have a great night.
  11. First, loads of kudos to your friend for being courageous and fighting against that horrible illness.

    Then, perhaps she should consider going to her doctor to get a paper of some kind that the wigs are causing her severe discomfort. This could provide backing for her claim and/or subsequent legal action.
    Has she made anyone else in her company (not just her manager) aware of her medical situation and the harassment she is under?
  12. The other ladies gave good advice, I don't have any to offer since I'm not a lawyer. But you're a great friend for posting this thread.

    Best wishes to your friend on her recovery.
  13. That is absolutely disgusting! I dont know how things work in America but if that happened here in the UK there would be a lawsuit slapped on her bosses ass for being such an insensitive twat! Its beyond comprehension that someone can be so insensitive and rude and have such a lack of compassion. My aunt had breat cancer last year and has got through all her treatment and always wore scarves, she found wigs were too itchy and made her head hot and just felt terribly uncomfortable. She should get legal advice and find out where she stands because as i said in London we have channels that we can go through to have insensitive bosses such as hers sued for discrimination, because at the end of the day this is what it is. So many people are affected by breast cancer and cancer of any form so we need to offer support not humiliate and show disrespect to these brave women who are fighting an exhausting battle. I hope your friend gets better soon and realises she is an amzing person with a great friend to help her along her journey.
  14. Oh and why don't you both get in touch with the breast cancer awareness organisations? I'm sure they have support groups, legal advice and more!
  15. I don't want you to think I forgot about you- I am waiting for the employment attorney to get back from a deposition, and will talk to him as soon as he gets back.