A JC Penney employee was told the red linen shorts she was wearing to work were inappropriate—shorts Sylva Stoel says bought in the store's "career section." The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 17-year-old says she arrived for her shift in a blue sleeveless shirt, sandals, and the shorts. She tells TODAY.com that her boss asked if the company's dress code had been covered in orientation (she doesn't recall being told shorts are a no-no) and wanted to know how long it would take her to go home and change. "I said 'idk probably the whole day' I'm not coming back"—meaning she quit—writes Sylva on Twitter, where she last Friday posted an image of herself in the outfit (along with one of her, still in the outfit, flipping the bird).
"I bought [the shorts] thinking they were pretty professional," she tells TODAY.com. "They didn't show anything other than my legs, which I don't think is too provocative." What the company has to say to People: "JC Penney's dress code policy for store associates prohibits the wearing of shorts of any length. This policy applies to both male and female associates." How Sylva recalls orientation: "I never even got a handbook or anything. The manager ... said no tank tops, spaghetti straps, absolutely no denim, and no T-shirts ... nothing that you're falling out of. So I thought, 'I'm not falling out of these shorts.'" Sylva, whose Twitter username is @queenfeminist—had been on the job for about two weeks, sees the shorts dust-up as a women's rights issue. (Read more dress code stories.)