Looking good has its perks in business: Research shows that being attractive can get you faster promotions and a better salary. But a freelancer in London, England said looking like a "model" got her sent home from work.
Emma Hulse, a 24-year-old from Mayfair, England, showed up to her shift at a production company dressed in a shirt and trousers.
But five minutes into the day, her supervisor texted her and asked her to leave.
"I got there and spoke to the line manager and he asked me, 'Are you a model? Are you not doing catwalks? Why are you not at the front of house?'" Hulse told The Evening Standard. She said the same manager later asked her out for a drink.
Hulse told Revelist she works for an agency that sends her on freelance shifts at various different production companies. She has never experienced this kind of treatment before.
"I was quite disappointed to be sent home. I didn't really know what to do," Hulse told The Standard. "I do camera operating as well, I work for many different companies and no one has sent me home because of the way I look."
Unit TV, a post-production facility in London's Soho district, did not deny the incident.
The owner of the company, Adam Luckwell, told The Standard that Unit TV had fired the manager in question, who was already on a three-month probation.
"We felt he was a bad fit for us and some of the things he was doing was not in line with the company’s policy," Luckwell said.
But in a statement to Revelist, Luckwell denied he had any knowledge of "the situation with Emma Hulse." And Hulse told Revelist she never reported the incident to the company.
"I didn't know who to talk to or who to report to, because I didn't know if it's okay or not," she said. She has not heard from Unit TV since going public with her story.
Oddly enough, the law may actually be on Unit TV's side — at least in the United States.
A Manhattan judge ruled last year that firing someone for being too attractive is legal and does not amount to gender discrimination. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that employees can be fired "simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction."
Legal experts have defended this position, claiming being attractive is not a "protected class" in society.
"I don't think the law is out of touch," Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, told ABC of the Iowa ruling. "...This guy is a jerk, but being a jerk is not illegal."
Revelist has reached out to Hulse and Unit TV for comment.