City Desk

Lawsuit: W Hotel Wouldn’t Let Waitress Wear a Bra With Straps


The W Hotel's P.O.V. Lounge touts its White House-adjacent view of downtown, with a website claiming that the nightlife spot has the "most coveted" vantage in the city. But patrons at the buzzy club may be seeing a little too much, according to a waitress who says she wasn't allowed to wear a supportive bra at work.

Jahaira Bratton, a server at P.O.V. from 2010 to 2013, claims she felt back pains after wearing mandated skimpy outfits that kept her from wearing a bra with straps. Two months after she complained about the outfits, Bratton was fired, ostensibly for being late to work.

"She's very large-breasted, and they wouldn't let them wear bras or normal bras with it," says Jennifer Bezdicek, Bratton's attorney. "It kind of looked ridiculous and looked sluttier than it should have."

The uniforms—described in the complaint as "halter tops and very short skirts with a slit up the back"—made it impossible for Bratton to wear a bra with straps, according to her attorney. "If any of the girls came in with a bra on, they would say, 'No, you can't do that,'" Bezdicek says.

The skimpy outfits could create awkward situations, according to the complaint, when the scantily clad waitresses served patrons on the lounge's patio during winter or when they served families at brunch. Even the low-set furniture at P.O.V.—the same lounge where then-Pigskins player Albert Haynesworth allegedly groped a waitress' breast—seems to conspire against modesty.

"You have to lean down to set something down, so you're basically exposing  your entire nether parts," Bezdicek says.

In December, Bratton sued the hotel for $350,000, claiming that it retaliated against her for complaining about the uniforms. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the hotel's parent company, didn't respond to a request for comment.

Bartender photo by Shutterstock

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  • Typical DC BS

    Maybe she should have passed on that job or quit once she found out the requirements.

  • Karl

    She doesn't have to wear a bra.

  • Jim Ed

    FYI - You mispelled her first name per the case documents. Its Jahaira, not Jaheir.

  • Mony
  • BS Meter
  • BS Meter
  • shutup

    Just because someone wears swimsuits for a pageant or likes to dress up in a nice fitting strapless dress doesn't mean it's okay to fire her for complaining about what they were making her wear. That's like saying a girl was asking to be raped for what she was wearing on a different day. Don't be an idiot!

  • Slim Shady

    I can't believe someone actually looked up her facebook pics and posted them here. Gee, I wonder if the W had anything to do with that to discredit her? Not surprising considering they have another suit pending against them for race discrimination, which this suit also mentions. I've been to POV many, many times and the uniforms are ridiculous. I've been embarrassed for the women wearing them. They look okay on some of the employees, but are not a "one size fits all" uniform. I felt like I was at a strip club almost. Thank god they've tamed the uniforms a bit now.

  • Staci

    It would be nice to get a picture of the uniform. It would help bring more of a visual. I know wearing a bikini top for long periods of time can become uncomfortable. Ummm... thats a corset top not a dress @BS Meter. And if you knew any better then you would know that you dont need a bra for a corset because it supportive enough without one.

  • real slim shady

    ^^prob her or her Also hard to take serious someone who claims uniforms are "sexually objectifying" and works at other clubs and for promoters wearing same types of outfits.

  • Karl

    SlimShady -- where do you see something about a race discrimination lawsuit?

  • Slim Shady

    I meant the race discrimination part was mentioned. They have another lawsuit for that against them as they suspended a black manager right after she complained of race discrimination. I heard they fired her right after too. Sorry to confuse.

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