Hospital Worker, Francine Siddaway, Claims She Was Fired For Wearing Egyptian Makeup



Addenbrooke's Hospital apparently didn't like the Queen Nefertiti look, after all. Twenty-eight year old Francine Siddaway had been a cleaner at the Cambridge, England, hospital for three and a half years when she says her bosses suddenly asked her a "toning down or removal" of her make-up.

For Siddaway, the directive was frustrating and mystifying. After all, she had appeared at her interview for the job with the same ancient Egyptian-style eyelashes. So she decided to ignore the warning, and in late April she was fired from her job that paid her 14,857 British pounds ($29,040) a year, according to a Daily Mail report.

"My make-up is my armour - it makes me feel confident," she reportedly told the Daily Mail. "They say my make-up is 'offensive,' but how can it be when the other staff often compliment me on it?"

Siddaway appealed her dismissal, but on July 1, she was told it was rejected. Now she believes that management used her taste in cosmetics as an excuse to fire her. "It is pretty obvious why they have now suddenly decided they have a problem with my make-up - at the same time as job cuts." Indeed, Medirest, the contractor for staffing at the hospital, reportedly has ordered 600 staff members to either take a pay cut or get fired, according to the Daily Mirror.

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Medirest, however, insisted that she was let go for insubordination.

"Our dress code policy is designed to promote a professional appearance for all colleagues and to comply with health and safety legislation," a Medirest spokeswoman told the Daily Mail. "This includes minimizing the risk of infection transfer while maintaining patient and colleague safety."

Siddaway is the latest in a slew of workers who claim they've either lost their jobs because of their good looks, or faced other humiliations stemming from their appearance. As was reported by AOL Jobs in May, 29-year old Lauren Oldes was hired in April for a job doing data entry for Native Intimates, a lingerie company that produces, as she said, "thongs with hearts placed in the female genital area."

But a week into the gig, she was let go by the company, which is owned by Orthodox Jews, after being told, "You are just too hot for this office." She has also been asked to tape down her breasts before she was let go. (She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after being let go.)


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In spite of awarded for her performance as an administrative specialist for the FBI, and juggling a second career as a Latin music singer, Erika Bonilla was repeatedly investigated by the bureau starting in 2009 for her attendance and other issues. As a result, she was asked by the FBI to document every minute of her day.

She filed a complaint with the EEOC claiming employment discrimination, and cited her colleagues' plotting against her. She said she overheard her colleagues saying "how they need to 'get rid of Erika,'" because of her looks. She also says she was forced to answer questions about sleeping with with higher-ups. She is currently seeking unspecified damages for back pay "and other equitable relief."

But as was also reported on AOL Jobs, such cases rarely lead to easy courtroom vindication. Debrahlee Lorenzana claimed she was terminated by Citigroup for her "distracting" body, but she ended up having to waive her rights to a jury trial as she pursued her employment discrimination suit. She says she hadn't fully understood that when she joined the bank, she'd signed a waiver agreeing to such terms.

She did end up reaching an agreement with Citibank, but wouldn't comment on its terms. Currently working as a financial analyst with Chase Investment Services Corp., she says she is campaigning for the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would ban companies from blocking their workers from pursuing full legal recourse.


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248 Comments

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Jude Anne Gossin

It figures, she worked for a hosptial . As long as she did her job correrctly, what difference does it make. I worked for a medical facility-never again. God bless, Francine, I am sure there is another employer ready to recruit you.

July 24 2012 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tomas

what Rose replied I am taken by surprise that you can earn $7516 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you read this webpage MorePay3

July 12 2012 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jessica

I'm sorry, but a grown woman who wears eyeliner like a 16 year old and calls it "armor"?? This gal has more issues besides loosing her job... she could have dysmorphia.

July 10 2012 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
onetuffkitty

Come on Citi Bank.. Have you no balls... There are so many people looking for a Job.. Why give in to this person who clearly looking for a reason to sue.. Stand up for your rights.... Oh thats right, you don't have any ..

July 10 2012 at 2:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RVFLSLVB

Duh!!! It was insubordination. Would have fired you too.

July 09 2012 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corey Jeffrey

I imagine there are many of us who would love to treat our body like a canvas, I'm a huge fan of tattoos but I realize that I keep it under the shirt line. Professionalism is going out the window and firing a few lawsuit grubbing non-compliers may just be what saves what little is left.

July 09 2012 at 6:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CCSMILES4U

If your employer tells you to tone the make up down a little, you comply. Especially considering all the unemployment these days! I would be more then happy to tone it down because I have been without a job for 6 months and its killing me!!!

July 09 2012 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
klckw

You're all so Bleeping Judgemental. She's Awesome.

July 09 2012 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cyberduk

Well of course they used the make-up as an excuse to fire her. She looked like a freakin moron. They warned her and she didn't listen. Her own stupidity got in the her way. Now she can pursue the job she always wanted...working in a morgue.

July 09 2012 at 2:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
valgaavmiko

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way she chooses to dress (and it really is shameful how someone of you people are commenting on her looks). She likes bold makeup. It isn't necessarily bad. But when your employer asks you to tone it down, you comply.

July 09 2012 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to valgaavmiko's comment
tony

(and it really is shameful how someone of you people are commenting on her looks)
Someone?????? Where did thou learn english, if thou even learned it @ all.

July 09 2012 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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