Pregnant Woman Fired for No longer being “Sexy” or “Fun”

Feb 17, 2010 by

A bartender was fired from her job for being pregnant and no longer “fun” or “sexy” as a result of her “bulging” belly. Jennifer Paviglianiti, an employee at a Suffolk County topless bar and restaurant chain, successfully tended bar for owner John Doxey at his Café Royale, Le Café and Gaslite establishments before she was terminated for “hurting the registers” as she became “bigger and bigger and more unsexy.”

Ms. Paviglianiti filed charges of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Listen to the discriminatory statements captured on audiotape (click here to listen to the audio). Please find the abridged transcript to the audio below.

While working women routinely suffer discriminatory treatment in the workplace due to pregnancy and the inevitable maternity leave, rarely is the discrimination this blatant, and rarely are the corporate decision makers this honest in their assessment of the perceived diminished capacity of pregnant employees.
Plaintiff’s counsel is the law firm of Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser, LLP, a full service Women’s Rights in the Workplace law boutique in NYC.  For more information about the case, contact Jack Tuckner, Wiliam Sipser or Antonia Donato at 212.766.9100, or at, or, respectively.

Audio Transcript:

John- A pregnant woman behind the bar, in a topless bar, I’m beginning to think that it’s hurting the registers and you’re incapable of fulfilling all of  your  job  duties. You’re trying, I’m not saying that you’re not trying,ok,but number one, I don’t want nothing to happen to you, I  don’t  want nothing to happen to you…
Jen-­ That’s not true, I can do it just fine…
John-­ Jen, Jen, don’t argue with me just listen to what I’m saying ok, I don’t want you…
John-I can’t help but think that it is partially because of the, ya see guys don’t think that a pregnant, they’re not coming in to see sexy bartenders that are pregnant that are bulging out, I’m sorry…
Jen-­ I bonused nine times since August. 
John-­ Since August!
Jen-­ How many other people have bonused nine times, that’s once a week!
John-­ Jen, Jen, you gotta stop…
Jen-­ The only thing I can’t do according to my doctor is have sex, that’s the only thing I’m not allowed to do.
John- Jen, you have, you wanna make it your way, I understand that, ok you bonused nine times, I’m not arguing that, but each week you’re getting bigger and bigger, and un, more unsexy, unsexy, ok, it’s more obvious, obvious, obvious, that you’re pregnant, pregnant, pregnant, ok?  
John-I didn’t have a problem with it but I told you when you start showing too much we’re gonna have an issue, you feel that you can keep going, I understand that, of course you’re gonna feel that way. You did tell me about the Fridays getting a little bit rough on you, yes you did, I’m not denying it ok? But, denial in your mind, you wanna keep going because you wanna keep making the money and do what you gotta do, I understand that and I respect that but there’s only one problem, it’s not in the best interest of the club all the time. You understand what I’m saying?
Jen-­ Like I said, I can understand if I wasn’t doing my job and I wasn’t doing it well.
Jen-­ Alright. Can you just give me a little notice when you’re gonna tell me that I need to stop working?
John-­ I will let you know, because I’m gonna be honest with you I don’t see it much past ya know next week. I don’t see it much past next week.
Jen-­ Next week?
John-­ Yeah next week. I can’t help it honey…
Jen-­ But I’m not doing a bad job, I’m ringing my register!
John-­ Jen you don’t understand, you don’t understand, you could be, I’m not saying that you’re not ringing the register, I just said there’s all different things and aspects, customers don’t wanna come in and see a pregnant woman behind the bar! Why can’t you get that through your head, you’re not getting it…
John-I can’t believe that one way or the other Gaslite was the only club on, damn near in the area or pretty much most of Long Island that was dead. If they were that’s fine, but why were they?  Maybe because I have a pregnant bartender? She’s not that much fun with them?

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  1. As Jens Father, I and Her whole Family, Friends complete straingers, and I’m sure some of your Customers support Jennifer’s cause. I have some things to say to John. Your Mother should smack you right in the back of the head. If it was not for a pregnant woman You would not be here. How would you feel if someone did this to your child or a female member of your family You would march right to your lawyers office and sue the pants off them. Don’t tell me wouldn’t.. You can’t deny the Tapes and the transcripts. Your Mentality is a woman’ s place is in the Home barefoot and pregnant or Bare and on Stage, Less than a Man. Either way you need to come out of the stone age. Your ignorant to the laws that protect everyone from discrimination, and your about to find out how Ignorant you are
    I’m Proud of my Daughter for doing this and Standing up for Woman’s rights. There is no where for you to hide from the shame. You say that my Daughter is hurting your Business because She is not Sexy or Fun, I say you are ugly in mind and Soul. I ‘d say you just buried your Business all by yourself. Good Luck in court. Sincerely, James T. Paviglianiti

  2. So this is going to be flameful…I did an eyeroll through most of this article. I can’t really bring myself to be sympathetic. What exactly was she expecting? She got more in tips based on her looks and body. That is why she was working topless in this kind of establishment instead of Olive Garden. I honestly think it is a little unreasonable for her to think that was a long term job in which changes to her physical appearance, regardless of the cause, would be tolerated when that is the major qualification for the job. Are models suing magazines for not putting them in the exact same spreads they would have been in pre-pregnancy? Are actresses suing for not being cast in roles as a non-pregnant woman when they are noticeably pregnant? No. They recognize that they are in a business where looks matter and they were paid more than other jobs for meeting that criteria.

    It kind of bothers me that this is being thrown in with what I perceive are real cases and grievances for pregnancy discrimination.

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