A Minnesota mom who made the cover of the “Hot Housewives” edition of Playboy Magazine is suing her former employer for being fired after violating that company’s “standards of common decency” charter.
According to the suit, Jessica Zelinske claims that Charter Communications in Rochester, Minn. fired her from her advertising sales job for appearing in the 2011 fall issue of Playboy – even after her boss, Timothy McBeain, gave permission for her to participate in the photo shoot.
“I’ve always had the confidence to do crazy things like this,” she told reporters, also posting on her Facebook page that “Playboy has changed my life forever… what a dream come true!”
The company denies giving such permission, and McBeain has refused comment on the advice of his attorney.
Tony Wadsworth, manager of insurance for Jubilee Insurance and risk management advisor with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, saw a rise in wrongful dismissal claims among municipalities in Alberta in the last year or two – something he says can be attributed to the current crop of human resources personnel being unfamiliar with policy wording, and not following the procedures as prescribed in the insurance policy itself. (continued.)
“You must follow the guidelines,” Wadsworth told Insurance Business Online. “Human resource personnel change – and you don’t get the same emphasis on the different aspects of what they should be doing. In the end you get a group of human resource people who are fine people, but literally have no knowledge of some of these things that they are expected to follow.”
Alberta’s Jubilee Insurance was one of the first organizations to offer wrongful dismissal liability insurance coverage to local authorities in that province. When municipalities began reporting an increase in wrongful dismissal suits, Wadsworth took a proactive approach.
“When we started to see an adverse trend in these wrongful dismissal suits,” says Wadsworth, “we hit the road early and told people, ‘This is what you need to have your human resource people know to follow, to nip this in the bud.’”
In the case of Zelinske, she was terminated in September of 2011 after the magazine appeared, receiving a notice from her employer that she was being fired for violating the Charter’s standards of common decency, and the company’s professional conduct policy “by making the personal choice to pose nude in a well-known publication.”
Zelinske, 33 and the mother of a 7-year-old daughter, told newspapers that she had been among the select few chosen among 418 aspiring models at the casting call. (continued.)
Zelinske beat out the other hopefuls at the Chicago casting call in January of 2011, moving on to the photo shoot three months later.
Zelinske’s suit names Stamford, Conn.-based Charter Communications Inc., Charter Communications L.L.C. and Charter Media L.L.C. (and McBeain specifically) as defendants. She is seeking $150,000 in the suit, citing emotional distress, compensatory damages and cost of legal fees.