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Reno Bartender Fired for Refusing to Wear Makeup

Monday, October 9, 2000

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A casino bartender in Reno, Nev., has been fired for not complying with a new policy requiring female employees to wear makeup. Darlene Jespersen, 44, a bartender at Harrah's, said she has never worn makeup but has always been clean and well groomed.

"I was humiliated," she told a newspaper. "I was good enough to do my job as a bartender for 18, 19 years and suddenly I wasn't good enough to do my job anymore because I refused to look like a clown ... Is it because I wasn't pretty enough or too old?"

Jespersen has hired a lawyer, but says Nevada courts have ruled that employers can ask employees to wear makeup. The new appearance guidelines require women to wear teased, curled or styled hair, solid black leather shoes and makeup, defined as foundation or face powder, blush, mascara and lipstick. Harrah's declined to comment.