A YOGA teacher who claims she was fired for being “too cute” can sue her former boss and his wife for gender discrimination after she won a dramatic appeal.
Dilek Edwards, 33, originally sued Wall Street chiropractor Charles Nicolai and his Playboy model wife Stephanie Adams in 2013.
Edwards claimed she lost her job after Nicolai admitted to his 46-year-old wife that she “might become jealous” of his employee because she was “too cute”.
The yoga teacher’s suit was overruled by Manhattan judge Shlomo Hagler in May 2016, but an appeals panel decided she did have a case.
Judge David Friendman ruled Edwards “was fired for no reason other than Adams’ belief that Nicolai was sexually attracted to her.
“This states a cause of action for gender discrimination under New York State Human Rights Law.”
Adams and Nicolaii co-own Wall Street Chiropractic and Wellness.
Edwards claimed that Adams, 45, a self-proclaimed lesbian married to a man, texted her in October 2013 warning “stay the F–K away from my husband and family!” shortly after her boss admitted that his wife “might become jealous” of Edwards.
The yoga teacher insists her relationship with the chiropractor was “strictly professional.”
The day after the threatening text, Nicholai fired her.
Edwards argued in her suit that “firing a woman because of a gender-related aspect of her appearance is unlawful discrimination” because “attractiveness is directly tied to gender.”
In the original ruling in 2016, Judge Hagler said: “There is no allegation in the that [Edwards] was terminated because of her status as a woman.”
“With respect to whether appearance can be the basis of a discrimination claim courts have not found discrimination when the subject conduct or policy was not applied differently to men and women.”
The law, he said, also doesn’t prevent “termination motivated by spousal jealousy alone.”
When the suit was filed, Adams — the first openly lesbian woman to be a Playmate — told the New York Post she didn’t view Edwards as competition.
“No disrespect to anyone — but I’m a centerfold,” Miss November 1992 boasted.