Robert Kovacik and Sean Browning
Courtney Scaramella, 23, has filed suit against O'Hara's Pub in Westwood, claiming she was fired for complaining about a skimpy uniform she says objectified female employees. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 26, 2012.
It's no secret in the restaurant and bar business that revealing outfits can bring in customers and healthy tips, but Courtney Scaramella, a former employee at O'Hara's Restaurant and Pub in Westwood, thinks her bosses went too far and is suing them over a skimpy uniform she felt objectified the female employees.
"I was appalled, I was offended, I kind of hoped it was a joke," Scaramella told NBC4. "They had a couple of ideas and this was one of them that they thought would increase foot traffic or something like that."
The story was first reported in the Daily Bruin UCLA student newspaper.
In her suit, Scaramella, is claiming sexual harassment, wrongful termination and unpaid wages.
Scaramella's attorney said the wardrobe requirements came after she had been working at the establishment for years -- she started in 2007.
"She didn't apply to Hooters and she didn't apply to a bar in Vegas," said attorney Toni Jaramilla. "I mean, it was only toward the end of her employment she and other women were asked to wear these provocative outfits."
O'Hara's co-owner Jack Bendetti and general manager Ronald "Ram" McDonnel are named in the lawsuit, along with the bar. Scaramella is asking for lost wages and compensation for stress she says she incurred on the job.
An attorney for O’Hara’s said Scaramella quit her job and was not terminated.
The suit claims the revealing uniforms that O'Hara's workers were forced to wear subjected them to potential abuse from customers, singling out a short, plaid skirt secured by a strip of Velcro, which the suit alleges left employees open to embarrassing situations.
When she complained about the outfit, Scaramella said, the requirement to wear the skirts was removed. But her hours were also cut dramatically.