Nottingham Trent grad awarded £15k after boss told her to wear more makeup at work

She looked ‘unpresentable’

A graduate from Nottingham Trent University has been handed £14,772 after her boss told her that she should wear more makeup at work.

Kate Leighton, who suffers from acne, had come to work her shift at Vinyl Revolution in Brighton when her boss told her that she looked a “mess” and “unpresentable”.

She intentionally had less makeup on to relieve the inflammation that makeup can cause for skin conditions.

Kate graduated from university in 2017 and was 22 when the incident occurred the following year. She left the store following her boss’ comments, and a tribunal resultantly took place in Croydon which found against the record store in a sexual harassment and age discrimination hearing.

They were ordered to pay £15k in damages, with Kate saying of her boss’ comments at the time: “I found her remarks offensive, as a woman and in view of my skin condition. I felt humiliated.”

The Sun reported that the judge, Corinna Ferguson, ruled: “It is unreasonable to suggest an employee cannot look professional without make-up.”

This is a big step for standards in the workplace, with many companies setting deliberately ambiguous policies to ensure that workers look “professional and presentable” without explicitly saying what this entails.

A 2017 petition to ban companies from insisting women must wear high heels was signed by over 150,000 people, but was ultimately rejected by the government after being debated in parliament.

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