Restaurant Worker Says Her Job Retaliated Against Her By Sending Her Home Because Her Uniform Shirt Was Not ‘White Enough’

"How does a shirt get any whiter than this?"

waitress, restaurant, work, uniform, management Mix and Match Studio / Shutterstock 

A restaurant employee was asked to go home for the day after management disapproved of the color of her uniform. 

After sharing photos of the uniform in question with others online, no one could find the exact issue with it or pinpoint how it violated her work dress code. 

Now, she claims it was an act of retaliation and is seeking legal help. 

The woman was sent home from work because her uniform shirt wasn’t ‘white enough.’ 

In an X (formerly known as Twitter) post that has been viewed over 4 million times, Madison (@madisontayt_) claimed that management at her company forced her to leave her shift because her work shirt was not "white enough."


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However, Madison and her colleagues believed that the restaurant’s actions were retaliation due to her previous behavior at work. 

A few months back, she shared that her managers decided to make unexpected changes to their staff’s holiday gratuity policy, which Madison did not approve of. “I threatened to walk out and spent my day getting 41 out of 61 servers to co-sign an email basically saying to [expletive] off,” she wrote in a previous post. 

“Management conceded and gave us what we wanted but then absolutely gutted my schedule to let me know exactly how they felt about my ‘efforts’ lol.” 

Madison is now convinced that being sent home over her shirt color was just another act of retaliation by management, who clearly had an issue with her speaking out. 


“Now I’m out ~$300 and asking if anyone has legal advice,” she wrote. 

Madison also included pictures of the controversial shirt that sent her home, and the majority of people are trying to wrap their heads around why she was forced to leave. 

“How does a shirt get any whiter than this, I’m confused,” one X user commented. 

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“If they have that picky of an opinion, they need to be supplying shirts,” another user noted.

Madison described her workplace as a “famous, historic New York dining institution” that loves to screw over their employees. 

“We have 1 bathroom for a staff of 200-300 (depending on the season), and every year we have staff hospitalized for heat stroke from outdoor working conditions,” she wrote. 

Most people thought Madison didn't have a viable legal claim.

“Speaking federally, probably nothing to be done about this specific instance unless it's coming very close in time to objecting to some other labor law violation. It helps too if you can point to other comparable people not punished for the same thing,” one X user commented. 


“Retaliation is illegal, but good luck finding a lawyer that will actually do anything about it. Unless they are withholding pay from you or promotions, they aren’t going to get in any trouble,” another user wrote. 

If she still wanted to seek the help of a lawyer, many people encouraged Madison to collect concrete examples of instances where management mistreated her or other staff members.


Although Madison did not appear to be breaking any guidelines with her shirt (which really looks perfectly white), there are a few ways that employers can more effectively enforce their dress code.

They can clearly outline the dress code policy in the employee handbook, including details about colors, styles, and any required accessories. 

Restaurant Worker Sent Home Because Her Shirt Was Not White Enough Photo: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock 


Managers can also offer visual examples or guidelines to help employees understand what is expected of them. This can include images or descriptions of appropriate attire for different occasions or roles within the organization. 

However, realistically, it can be difficult to maintain a white uniform while working at a restaurant. Staff members are bound to spill food, drinks, and condiments on their uniforms from time to time. 

It may be wise to offer a uniform cleaning service through the restaurant to ensure that staff always looks perfectly cleaned and pressed. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.