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Jiu Jitsu Instructor Says Sexed-Up Dojo Axed Her for Showing Racy Video

By James Fanelli | December 25, 2014 9:39am
 Juliet Ferreira Silveira said that she was fired as an instrutor at a Brooklyn Brazilian jiu jitsu business because she showed a co-worker a sexually explicit video. She claims that she was held to a double standard as a women because her bosses tolerated male counterparts using sexually suggestive language.
Jiu Jitsu Instructor Claims Dojo is Hotbed of Sexism
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COLUMBIA STREET WATERFRONT DISTRICT — A female martial arts instructor claims her bosses at a Brooklyn dojo get their kicks out of making sexist remarks — but they held her to a double standard when they fired her for showing a suggestive video to a porn-loving co-worker.

Juliet Ferreira Silveira is suing Gene Dunn and Josh Skyer, the owners of Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu IV, accusing them of wrongfully terminating her and of making obscene comments about her and women in general.

Silveira says the sexist and bawdy banter was only OK for men — and her firing proves it. 

Her lawsuit says she was canned when she showed her co-worker a video of a fully-clothed couple describing various sex acts.

Silveira says she let the co-worker take a peek at the clip while on their lunch break in a supply closet outside the view of students. The co-worker, who was once described in a nudie magazine as a “porn consumer,” laughed at the video and asked her to forward the website’s link, according to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Dec. 17.

“None of the male employees would ever have been disciplined for showing this video to another male employee, nor would any of the male employees have been disciplined for showing such a video to the plaintiff,” the lawsuit says.

Silveira, who taught at the martial arts business in the Columbia Street Waterfront District from February 2014 until her firing in July, claims in her lawsuit that male employees would routinely ask her if her boyfriend — and now husband — “had measured her hips yet to see how many babies she could have.”

Her male co-workers would also blast rap music with sexually suggestive lyrics during staff training sessions, according to the lawsuit.

The coworker also asked Silveira if a friend she was signing up for classes was “really, really hot,” the lawsuit says.

Silveira claims the dojo hired few female instructors and only let her teach children. When she asked about the lack of female employees, owner Gene Dunn responded by saying women “were all crazy,” according to the lawsuit.

“Females are underrepresented both among students and teachers, even when measured against the prevailing proportions in this male-dominated industry in New York City,” the lawsuit says.

The owners of Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which has five locations in the borough, did not respond to requests for comment.

Silveira also did not respond to requests for comment.