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Restaurant faces discrimination complaint for Oktoberfest costume

Discrimination has no place in the workplace, and as San Antonio readers may know, it can lead to a lawsuit if an employee feels like he or she was the subject of discrimination,. A recent workplace discrimination case against a restaurant involves a low-cut beer garden outfit and a hostile work environment that is causing a lot of fuss.

As a celebration of all things related to beer, Oktoberfest is traditionally associated with Germany. A now-former employee at the Hofbrau at the RIM in San Antonio chose to wear a low-cut beer garden outfit for the celebration, and the restaurant claims it reimbursed her for the purchase. She was encouraged to wear the dress for Halloween, and she was reportedly told that another employee would wear the outfit as well.

The part of the story that might strike you as odd is that the employee wearing the second beer garden outfit turned out to be a man. He allegedly came in with an overstuffed bra, a blond wig, and a nametag attached to his beer garden outfit. The nametag allegedly had the woman's name on it. The woman's employment discrimination form states that she was "humiliated" and that the joke was not appreciated. She also described it as "offensive." The former employee states that the management attempted to calm her down by saying that "it was just a joke," but it obviously was not funny.

Your workplace should be free of harassment, and in an ideal world, stories like this should not occur. Workplace discrimination isn't limited to racial and sexual overtones. It can include a hostile work environment where workers feel pressured to accept a situation that isn't right. If this sounds familiar to you or if you've experienced discrimination at work, you may have a number of legal options available to you.

Source: KENS 5, "Restaurant employee files discrimination complaint for Octoberfest costume" No Author Given, Nov. 13, 2013

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