A Muslim waitress has been awarded a £3,000 pay out for sexual harassment after being made to wear a revealing red dress for work. Fata Lemes, 33, quit her job after claiming that the low-cut dress was “disgusting” and made her look like a “prostitute”. Miss Lemes, a Bosnian Muslim, had told an employment tribunal that she “might as well have been naked” in the dress.
The Central London Employment Tribunal awarded Miss Lemes damages after pointing out that only women – and not male staff – were required to wear the summer uniform at the bar in Mayfair, London. The outfit was described as “brightly coloured, figure hugging garb”.
The ruling said: “Her perception was that wearing the dress would make her feel as if she was on show, as if she was being presented as one of the attractions which the Rocket Bar was offering its customers. In our view that perception was legitimate and not unreasonable.”
Miss Lemes began working at the bar in May last year. A week later she was asked to change into the red dress instead of the loose fitting black linen shirt. “It was indecent. If you put this dress on you might as well be naked,” she told the tribunal. “Everything finishes in the middle at the chest. It is open at the front and the back. I did not want men looking at my body.”