Local Teen Claims Discrimination After Being Fired Over Skin Condition


Kate Nalepinski believes she was fired on the first day of her job at Tutti Frutti Yogurt for an uncontrollable and non-contagious skin disease.

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A Long Island teenager claims to have been fired from her job after the first day due to an uncontrollable skin condition. Kate Nalepinski, 17, says her boss at Tutti Frutti Yogurt in Port Jefferson Station discriminated against her non-contagious condition known as eczema and believes management was afraid she would scare away customers with the red spots on her neck and arms.
“I worked my full shift and the manager called me into her back office,” the Comeswogue High School student told CBS News. “She asked me what was on my skin. I explained I was clean, it was not contagious, and a season disease. She still told me I couldn’t work there.”
After her firing Nalepinski asked if she was able to wear a long sleeve t-shirt to cover up her arms. Even with the suggestion her boss still let her go. The managers at Tutti Frutti say she was not fired for her skin condition though. They claim the store was entering the slow season and workers needed to be let go. 
Nalepinski has since started an online anti-discrimination petition on Change.org.
“I explained my disease in-depth: seasonal, non-contagious, and sterile, thus it couldn't impact any working conditions,” she stated in the petition. “I was then told long-sleeves wouldn't be an acceptable alternative. The manager encouraged me to return in the Summer - when my skin is clear. This is unacceptable and blatant form of discrimination, based on my skin condition.”
She continues: “No form of discrimination is acceptable. My objective is to spread awareness through this petition, and as a result, expose the discriminatory business that is Tutti Frutti.”
[Source: Change.org, CBS]