A former Banana Republic employee is suing the company, claiming that her bosses routinely made fun of her for not looking feminine enough. Giselle Burgos, 42, says she started getting harassed by her bosses in 2010 "based on her physical appearance and her perceived failure to conform to traditional gender stereotypes."
According to her suit, Burgos started working as a stock specialist at the Fifth Avenue branch of Banana Republic in midtown in 2003. She says she tried to get better-paying shifts on the sales floor, but one boss told her she could only get those shifts "if [she] looked like a woman."
Another manager, Teddy Torrenegra, allegedly called Burgos "sir" in "a deriding manner," and said in the presence of coworkers, "Maybe if she wore a skirt, I would f-k her!" according to court papers. He also allegedly made jokes about her "freaky lesbian friends," and tried to get her to have a threesome with him and his girlfriend.
She adds in the lawsuit: "On days [when Burgos] was able to work on the sales floor she was constantly subjected to negative and deriding remarks on the basis of her failure to look like the feminine image of a woman [that] Banana Republic was attempting to promote with its brand."
Burgos says her hours were docked when she complained, and she was ultimately fired in December 2012 "in retaliation for constantly objecting to defendants’ derogatory comments and actions." She is suing for unspecified damages.
Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, said they don't comment on pending legal matters.