Based on the sheer volume of headlines in the media, one might think that this lost earnings claim either has some extraordinary circumstances and/or involves a celebrity. However, it appears that neither of those are true. From a legal and economic damages standpoint, the alleged wrongful termination and gender discrimination claims are routine. So, why all the press? You be judge…
In sum, a 35 year-old woman claims that she was wrongfully terminated from her employer, a waxing salon, because she refused a Brazilian wax treatment. According to the Complaint, the woman was fired on her first day at the salon in which she and her colleagues were to perform bikini wax treatments on one another as part of her training. The woman understood that giving the treatment to clients was part of her job, but did not think receiving the treatment was part of it (even if it was just once for training). Because only women were required to engage on this training exercise, the woman is also not only claiming wrongful termination but also gender discrimination.
Among other things, the woman is seeking lost earnings. From the Complaint, however, these appear to be negligible based on the following:
- Her pay was $8 per hour, (75 cents above the state’s minimum wage), plus a “small commission” for clients she attains.
- She has a duty to mitigate any earnings loss and find alternative employment. Although there are additional factors that are typically in determining alternative employment and related earnings (e.g., employment history, education, certificates/degrees), she is likely to find earnings that will almost fully compensate based on (i) her relatively young age, and (ii) the replacement job need pay not much over minimum wage.
So, why all the press…?