- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2008

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Kent Island bar has settled a lawsuit with a bartender who was fired because she would not wear a tight tank top that revealed scars from breast cancer surgery.

Margaret Finley, 56, won her job back and $75,000 in the settlement of a federal lawsuit against her employer, Red Eye’s Dock Bar, in Grasonville.

The bar’s owner, Bob Wilson, did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to which both sides agreed in March.

Mr. Wilson also agreed to send his managers and employees to special work force training.

Mrs. Finley declined to comment through her attorneys.

Debra Lawrence, an attorney with the EEOC, said Mrs. Finley is again working for the bar.

“For her sake I would prefer if she not say anything further,” Mrs. Lawrence told the Annapolis Capital newspaper. “It was an impressive reconciliation between her and Red Eye and I would hate to put her in [an] awkward position.”

Norm Refford, a manager at Red Eye’s, said the bar’s insurance company decided to settle the lawsuit rather than fight it in court. He said other female employees still must wear the skimpy “tankinis.”

“We still have a dress code and [Mrs. Finley] is excluded,” he said.

Mrs. Finley worked at Red Eye’s for 11 years, tending bar on weekends from May to September until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a lumpectomy before returning to work in May 2006.

But shortly after her return, Mr. Wilson began instituting new dress codes. Mrs. Lawrence said the bar first ordered Mrs. Finley to not wear a hat, even though she still was losing hair from her cancer treatments.



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