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