Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Fired Bartender's Makeup Suit

December 29, 2004 ( - A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling which dismissed a sex-discrimination suit against a Reno casino brought by a female worker who didn't want to wear makeup.

>The US 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge who tossed out a suit brought by Darlene Jespersen against Harrah’s Entertainment after she was terminated from her bartending job for refusing to wear makeup. Jespersen was fired in August 2000 after 21 years of work (See Ex-Casino Bartender Takes Makeup Rule Battle to Appeals Court ).

>The appeals court based its decision on the fact that male bartenders must maintain an equally well-groomed appearance, with short hair and trimmed nails a must.   It ruled that this was roughly equivalent to the demands made of female workers, and thus there was no discrimination present.

Harrah’s spokesman Gary Thompson predicted late last year that the appeals judges would uphold the lower court ruling in favor of the casino company.  “The main position is that the court has upheld an employer’s right to impose reasonable grooming and cleanliness standards, particularly for employees who are serving the public,” Thompson said at the time.

>The ruling is available  here .