He Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) not consider sexist that a company impose a uniform on its workers with advertising at the height of the breasts, as long as it is also mandatory for male workers. This was determined by the magistrates in a sentence to which EL PERIODICO has had access and which revokes the penalty of 25,000 euros filed by a court of first instance, which did see this commercial practice discriminatory for women. The high court considers that said commercial campaign was not more objectifying for women than for men.
The facts date back to January 2019, when the fuel company delivered to its employees a new work uniform, mandatory use and consisting of a T-shirt with prints from a new commercial campaign. The advertising it was located just at the height of the breasts of the workers (or the pectorals of their counterparts) and included the phrase: “Ask me about the most advanced fuel on the market.” Several of the employees expressed their discomfortbecause as a result of it some clients were staring at their breasts.
The CCOO union filed a lawsuit against the company after it refused to withdraw said uniforms or offer an alternative to employees who were uncomfortable with them. Said uniform had not been previously agreed with the legal representation of the workers. Initially the magistrate of the court 32 of the social de Barcelona agreed with the union and described the practice as sexist. However, and after an appeal by the corporation, the TSJC has ruled to the contrary and has ruled in favor of Galp, since he considers that the commercial campaign did not “sexualize” women.
The magistrates argue their ruling that they do not detect a direct discrimination for reasons of gender, while the shirts were the same for men as for women. An example of direct discrimination based on gender is the one determined recently by the Work Inspection at Vueling, where the company was censured for forcing female cabin crew to wear a different uniform -with heels, makeup and mascara- than male crew members. men. Vueling, once the sanction proposal has been made, affirms that said uniform is no longer mandatory.
And a second argument is that they don’t see a indirect discrimination for gender reasons. That is to say, that despite formally the treatment is the same for men and women, this, de facto, ends up being different. Something that the head of the first instance court did appreciate.
She considered that while women’s breasts are a usually sexualized part of the body, placing advertising at that height ended up being discriminatory for them. Since more often a heterosexual man could take advantage of advertising to look at her breasts.
Here the magistrates of the TSJC amend the ruling under the following argument: “Considering the mere fact that there is a script in the chest area on the shirts constitutes, per se, a sexual claim in the worker and not in the worker implies a moral judgment and an anathema of the female body, an idea that manifestly contradicts the principle of equality of men and women”.
In other words, the TSJC affirms that considering a woman’s breasts more ‘sexualizable’ than a man’s is a moral judgment and violates the principle of equality, regardless of the fact that historically female breasts have been more frequently the object of sexualization than those of men. That is why it rules in favor of the Galp company and revokes the fine of 25,000 euros.