How One Fashion Worker's Pronunciation of 'Bra' Sparked a Workplace Lawsuit

How One Fashion Worker's Pronunciation of 'Bra' Sparked a Workplace Lawsuit
Image credit:

Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide

Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.
2 min read
This story originally appeared on CNBC

A New York woman alleges she was fired after she caught her co-workers "maliciously" making fun of her accent when saying words like "sweater" and "bra," according to court documents.

Aleksandra Dumic is suing her former employer for discrimination and unlawful termination, according to a complaint filed Dec. 18 in New York federal court. Dumic, of Serbian origin, claims her assistant and co-workers frequently mocked how she pronounced words like "lunch," "buyer," "arrow" and, especially, "bra."

Dumic began working as senior account executive for Jones Jeanswear in March 2013, the complaint said, where she noticed her co-workers "regularly" laughed at her accent. Dumic intercepted an email between two workers in April 2013 comparing her accent to "the sound of a tiger growling," the complaint alleges.

After mounting symptoms of an anxiety disorder, Dumic requested in February 2014, on her doctor's recommendation, that the company make accommodations for her symptoms.

Some 40 minutes later, she was terminated, the lawsuit said. 

"You're not a good fit," Dumic's boss allegedly said. "Even your doctor's note is saying you get stressed from being here[,] which means you're not a good fit." 

The company, now called ONE Jeanswear Group, includes brands like Gloria Vanderbilt, l.e.i., Bandolino, Jessica Simpson (under license), and Nine West jeans. Neither the company nor Dumic's attorney immediately responded to CNBC's request for comment. 

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur