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Bartender Who Wouldn't Wear Makeup Gets New Hearing

16 May 2005

Las Vegas Sun

Months after throwing out the case, a federal appeals court on Friday said it will rehear a sex-discrimination lawsuit filed by a female casino bartender who was fired for refusing to wear makeup.

Without comment, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside its December ruling and said it will rehear Darlene Jespersen's case with 11 judges. No hearing date was set.

Harrah's fired Jespersen from her job at a casino in 2000 after 21 years of service and high performance marks. She maintains that wearing makeup should be a personal choice and had nothing to do with her job performance.

In December, the court had ruled that Jespersen had failed to prove the company's policy "imposes unequal burdens on male and female employees." The 2-1 ruling found that Harrah's requirement that male bartenders keep their hair short, nails trimmed and otherwise appear neatly groomed was roughly equivalent to grooming demands made of female workers.

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