Orthodox-owned lingerie company sued for sexual discrimination

NEW YORK (JTA) – A New Jersey woman who says she was told to "tape down her breasts" has filed suit against an Orthodox-owned lingerie company claiming religious and sexual discrimination. 

Laura Odes, a former data entry worker, was fired from Native Intimates after working there for a week. A supervisor for the wholesale firm told Odes that the store owners, who are Orthodox Jews, were not happy with her outfit, saying it was too “distracting” and she was "too hot," The New York Post reported.

Odes, who is Jewish, said in a news conference Monday that she changed her outfit, but her supervisor suggested to her that she “tape down her breasts.” 

The female supervisor told her to wear a bathrobe, Odes said, but later gave her the option to buy a sweater that “went to her ankles.”  

While she was out buying a sweater, the 29-year-old woman received a phone call telling her that she had been fired. 

Attorney Gloria Allred, who is known for taking high-profile and controversial cases in defense of women’s rights, has filed a complaint against Native Intimates with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

“The company’s treatment of Ms. Odes was particularly ironic considering that it sells women’s undergarments and keeps a showroom with bras, lingerie and other intimate clothing,” Allred told the Post. 

Odes said no employer has the right to impose his or her religious beliefs on employees. Native Intimates has not commented on the lawsuit.

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