PLAYA VISTA, California –
Almost everyone has had to leave work early at one time or another, however for Andrea Greene, a 19-year-old waitress at The Red Oyster in Playa Vista, California, her management staff not only accused her of lying to leave early, but also demanded proof when Ms. Greene said that she was experiencing sickness due to her menstruation.
According to Ms. Greene, she arrived for her shift as scheduled on the 4th of July, eager to make some holiday money.
“I always like to work holidays, especially the 4th of July and St. Patrick’s Day. People always drink a lot, and tip me really big,” Said Andrea. “But in the middle of my shift, I started feeling sick, and I knew my period was coming on strong. I was the only female staff member scheduled that day, and the tampon dispenser in the restrooms has been broken for months.”
Andrea asked her coworker to cover her tables while she tried to assess her situation.
“I tried to, um, clean up, but it had already soaked my panties, and I was really starting to feel extra sick. I put toilet paper in my underwear, but I had a really long night ahead of me. I had to cut my losses on a big night of tips and try to go home early,” said Grenne.
Ms. Greene went to Alex Figueroa, her general manager, and asked that she be “cut”, which is the term used in the service industry meaning that she wouldn’t have anyone else sat at her tables, and after she finished her regular duties, she could go home.
Ms. Greene claims that her boss would not listen to her, and refused to relieve her, calling her a liar and mocking her, citing the ‘heavy flow’ of holiday diners.
“I seriously needed to go home. I was almost bleeding through my pants. I was so uncomfortable, I decided to go over Alex’s head and speak with our executive chef, hoping he would understand. I figured that it had to be a health violation or something,” said Greene.
Despite her embarrassment, Ms. Greene went to speak with Thomas Roberts, The Red Oyster’s Execute Chef. She explained her situation to Roberts, who assumed she was just lying to get out of work so she could go party with her friends.
“He laughed in my face and told me I’d have to ‘come up with a better excuse than that’ if I wanted to go party. Then he told everyone I was on my period. I was mortified,” said Andrea. “I started to cry and told him I wasn’t lying and that this was an emergency, and that I really needed to go home. What he said after nearly made my jaw hit the floor.”
Ms. Greene claims that after ridiculing her and mocking her, Roberts told her that if she wanted to go home, she’d have to prove that she was, in fact, on her period.
“[Roberts] said that I either needed to pull down my pants and prove it, or I could just ‘hand over my bloody toilet paper and then be gone,’ which he said in a weird pirate accent. The entire kitchen staff was laughing hysterically at me. I couldn’t believe what this man just asked me to do, how he embarrassed me. I didn’t know how to handle the situation.”
Andrea states she ran out of the kitchen and called her mother, who instructed her to leave immediately and that she would help her with bills until she found another job. With her mother’s support, Andrea plans to file a lawsuit against chef Roberts, her manager, and The Red Oyster.
Figueroa thinks Andrea is blowing the entire situation out of proportion, and that no one mistreated her at all.
“Andrea has quite an imagination. There was no mistreatment of her by me or anyone on my staff. Her story is complete fabrication. I was never informed she was feeling ill at all – she just threw her apron down on the bar and ran out of the restaurant. She’s a young, needy girl searching for attention, and that’s all I care to comment pending any sort of litigation. I’d just like to mention, though, that The Red Oyster is open late, we’re affordable, and we’ve always got crabs. It’s the perfect dining destination for any occasion! Call today to make a reservation!”