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Woman Fired For Not Wearing Bra At Work, And Now She's Fighting Back

Christina Schell via CBC / Pixabay

Clothes are commonly seen as a form of creative expression, but oftentimes that freedom can be limited in certain social settings.

Just think about it. When you leave your house, you must be aware of what you're wearing (or not wearing). And depending on where you're going, you have to dress appropriately for that setting or occasion.

Sometimes, if you don't follow certain social dress codes, you could be singled out or punished.

You often hear about students getting in trouble for defying their school's dress policy, but rarely will they get expelled for it.

Now, if that situation arose at work, it could lead to more serious consequences.

One woman is suing her former employer after they changed the workplace dress code so that she would have to wear a bra at work.

The updated dress code stated that "women must wear either a tank top or bra under their uniform shirt" while serving tables at Osoyoos Golf Club in British Columbia.

Christine Schell, a 25-year-old waitress from Canada, stopped wearing a bra three years ago for health and comfort reasons.

"It was absurd," she told CBC. "Why do you get to dictate what's underneath my clothes?"

For that reason, she filed a human rights complaint against her employer after they fired her for refusing to comply.

"It's gender-based and that's why it's a human rights issue," she said. "I have nipples and so do the men."

According to Schell, when she confronted the golf club's general manager, he told her that the rule was for her protection.

"He said, 'I know what happens in golf clubs when alcohol's involved.'"

This isn't the first time a story like this has made headlines...

Kate Gosek, who works as a cook at McDonald's in Manitoba, Canada was once harassed by her managers for not wearing a bra while working.

"She just told me that I should put on a bra because, McDonald's — we are a polite restaurant and no one needs to see that."

Kate Hannah from the UK was also embarrassed after being called out for not wearing a bra at her pub job.

“I felt uncomfortable, objectified and shocked that this had happened. Unfortunately, [the manager] saw fit to deal with the situation by telling me that I’m not allowed into work in future unless I’m wearing a bra," she wrote on Facebook about a year ago.

As for Schell, she may have a strong case.

Osoyoos Golf Club.Osoyoos Golf Club Facebook

Nadia Zaman, an employment lawyer from Toronto, Canada, told CBC that employers must prove that wearing a bra at work is important for a person's safety.

"If they simply require that female employees wear a bra but then they don't have a similar requirement for males, and they can't really justify that … then there is a risk that their policy's going to be deemed to be discriminatory," Zaman said.

Do you think Schell should have been fired? Let us know in the comments!

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.