You probably saw this bouncing around the social channels last week because it talked about ‘Brazilian Waxing’ and ‘Getting Fired’ (and if you come to this blog you either are in HR/Recruiting, or you’re my wife or Mom) – two things that when put together grab the attention of HR pros! Here’s the background story from Huffington Post:
“A Western Pennsylvania woman has sued the Pittsburgh waxing salon that employed her, claiming she was fired after refusing a Brazilian wax treatment as part of her training.
In the lawsuit filed in federal court last week, Jennifer Finley, 35, says a corporate trainer from her waxing chain, the European Wax Center, told her and her colleagues in October that they would have to perform the bikini wax treatment on one another. After declining, Finley says she was immediately terminated.”
This is where we all get to snicker and play the HR Game of “What Would You Do!?”
Here’s what I would have done:
I would have fired her.
She was hired to give Brazilian Waxes, of which, she wasn’t trained to do and as part of her training she had to learn how to give a Brazilian Wax. Did I mention she accepted a job to give Brazilian Waxes? So, I’m know expert in the training of Brazilian Waxes, but I have had to do training, so my guess is the best way to train is to do it on non-customers. You see ‘paying’ customers tend not to want the trainees when it comes to stuff like haircuts, spray tanning, eyebrows, plastic surgery, root canals, Brazilian Waxes, etc. They’re paying for a ‘trained’ professional. When the server comes to the table when you’re at Applebees and she has a ‘trainee’ with her – you’re alright with that – I mean will Mandy really screw up my Strawberry Lemonade?! Probably not. When Jennifer comes at me with bowl of hot wax and has on the ‘trainee’ name tag – we’ve got problems!
The main problem was the fact this women had to perform her training wax on a coworker. Uncomfortable, right? But you took a job to do Brazilian Waxes – did you really think you were going to make it out of training without seeing some…well you get the picture! The last I checked people in America still have a choice of which job they take. While certain people might have more limited choices than others – you still have choices. I struggle to have sympathy for individuals who choose a profession, then complain that they don’t want to ‘do’ the job. You chose a job that removes the hair off – again – this is a family show, you know where this is going!
I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t want to be a Brazilian Wax technician/or what ever that title might be. But I am 100% certain that if I chose to be in the Brazilian Wax field of study that at some point before they let me around the Happy Meals (don’t let your mind go south – this was a line from Chris Rock about working at McDonalds!) – I need some practice – some training – some live interaction of what you’ll be asking me to do.
What would you have done?
*******Updated 7-8-13 at 11:00am EST****************
Ok, apparently I’m twisting this a bit – the lady in question didn’t want to have a coworker perform a waxing on her. So, not quite apples-to-apples. Some will say – ‘I can be a tattoo artist and not want to get a tattoo’ or like Greg mentions in the comments – ‘brain surgeons don’t perform surgeries on each other’ – both correct statements – but both are not really the same thing, as in both other examples there are proper training and techniques you can do without having to do this on coworkers. Not quite sure how you would ‘train’ on waxing without getting some wax on yourself…nor do I really want to know!
The question still remains – how would you have handled this?
I wouldn’t fire her. If she refused to wax someone for training purposes – yes (but I didn’t get that from your synopsis). She refused to be waxed herself. Do Doctors perform brain surgery on one another? I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a co-worker that close to my manhood. I look forward to the outcome of this lawsuit.
I’m not sure you fully understood the article. She didn’t refuse training, and she didn’t refuse to perform a wax on ANOTHER person. She didn’t want someone to perform a Brazillian wax on HER, which I totally understand. It’s a pretty personal decision, and it’s something some people only want to have done on their terms, if they have it done at all. So she was fired, and the person who was going to wax her still didn’t get to practice on her, how does that help anyone?
If I was the manager in that situation, my only concern would be that she wouldn’t know how it felt, thus wouldn’t be able to relate to what the client is going through.
All aspects of cosmetology are practiced on each other whether it be colorings, cuts, waxes etc. That is how they learn their trade. Refusal to let others do to you is a refusal to participate fully in training. If you don’t fully participate in training you should be fired.
You’re right on the article, I did understood this, but took it one past further than the article to discuss the training process – and how in this role you’re expected to perform these types of procedures on each other, as coworkers. Fine line on my spin – but I feel still holds up.
I agree with you I would have fired her. I have had employees try to tell me they won’t do certain aspects of their job and my answer is always the same “if you don’t like your job then quit otherwise get to work”.