A New York State appeals court has ruled that a yoga instructor can proceed with a lawsuit which argued that her termination, allegedly because she was "too cute," is covered by gender discrimination laws.
The NY Post reports that a panel of Manhattan judges agreed that Dilek Edwards had a case for a gender discrimination claim after she was fired because her boss allegedly told her she was too attractive.
The case goes back to a 2013 incident in which Edwards, then working at Wall Street Chiropractic as a message therapist and yoga instructor, was fired by her boss Charles Nicolai. According to Edwards, Nicolai told her that his wife would get jealous about her working there because she was "too cute," and a few months later Edwards was fired after getting a text message from Nicolai's wife Stephanie Adams, informing her she was "NOT welcome any longer at Wall Street Chiropractic. DO NOT ever step foot in there again, and stay the [expletive] away from my husband and family!!!!!!! And remember I warned you."
Edwards sued after this, claiming that her firing ran afoul of city and state law prohibiting "appearance-based" discrimination. However, a judge originally ruled that Edwards's termination did not fall under gender discrimination law, and ruled that her suit could be dismissed.
An appeals panel made up of four judges thought differently, ruling that the suit could proceed since Edwards "was fired for no reason other than Adams's belief that Nicolai was sexually attracted to her."
Edwards's lawyer, Maimon Kirschenbaum, said the case sets a legal precedent for good-looking employees. "We had looked extensively to find a case for what should be obvious — that firing a woman because you might be attracted to her is discrimination," Kirschenbaum said after the ruling.