An Edmonton woman says she was fired from her job as a Honda saleswoman for wearing revealing clothing – but she says they were the same clothes she wore when she got the job.

Caitlin Bernier, 20, has taken to social media to tell her story.

“I walked into work and sat at my desk where I was immediately met by a female staff member. She had a sweater in her hand and said ‘do you know your shirt is see through? You have to either put this sweater on or go home and change,'” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“She then said that ‘the male managers are uncomfortable with what I was wearing and asked me too (sic) tell you to change or cover up.’ As you can see in the photos, my shirt is not see through. This even happened to be the EXACT outfit I wore the day I was interviewed and hired by the male management.

Caitlin Bernier

Courtesy Caitlin Bernier

“I then said that I was not going to change since I felt that my outfit was appropriate and have worn the top days prior as well as for my interview and no one had said anything to me. I also expressed that I was not going to be told by any male to cover up and follow instruction when I know my outfit is fine just because they are somehow ‘uncomfortable’.

“I went to the HR lady where she agreed with me that my shirt was not see through and is fine for work. I was told that when the general manager (also male) got into work then we would have a meeting. I ended up going home and asked them to phone me when the GM was in to have a sit down meeting. Hours later at home I received a call from the GM and he said “I heard you wore something inappropriate to work and were not following the dress code or instructions when you were told to change, so I am letting you go.” Keep in mind that he never saw what I was wearing.

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“I feel discriminated against being the only female sales person and not being given an opportunity to expression my opinion to the GM or for him to even see what I was wearing. Working here I have experienced sexually comments from male staff, but my top “made the males uncomfortable.” I am writing this post to show that FEMALE WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION is a real thing!”

caitlin

Bernier’s Facebook post has received thousands of shares and thousands of messages – some supportive, others, not so much.

Bernier has filed a human rights complaint against the 97 St. Honda.

But management with Alberta Honda denies Bernier’s claims of discrimination.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, they said its office dress code is enforced equally and no employee would be fired for a single violation.

Honda said an employee would only be fired after repeated warnings — and the decision would “never be based on gender. 

“It’s only if an employee refuses to comply with the dress code when given an opportunity, if they continued to violate the dress code on multiple occasions or if there were other issues surrounding their performance that we would consider taking further action,” the statement to CBC reads.

“We have reviewed the situation in question and are confident that our managers dealt with it appropriately given all of the circumstances involved.”

Bernier denies she ever received any previous warnings from management. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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