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Restaurant employee files discrimination complaint

A Maryland woman has filed a complaint against Hooters, the restaurant chain with locations in Michigan and around the country, claiming that she was unfairly discharged from her position as a waitress at the Baltimore location. The complaint was filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

The 25-year-old African-American woman began working for the restaurant in Sept. 2012. According to the complaint, she showed up to work on June 30 of this year with blonde highlights and was immediately told by her manager that she would have to get rid of them. She claims that the manager stated that the highlights did not appear natural on a woman of her race. The woman points out in her complaint that women of other races at that location had various colored highlights in their hair.

The woman received a warning and was given six weeks to dye her hair back to its original color. The manager allegedly said that company policy required employees to have hair color no more than two shades darker or lighter than their natural color. When she told the manager that she could not afford the process of recoloring her hair, she was given another warning and told that she could not return to work. The woman alleges that Hooters is holding African-American employees to different standards, a claim which Hooters denies.

If the restaurant chain is indeed engaging in workplace discrimination among their waitresses, the woman may have a claim for damages against them. An employee who has experienced such discrimination may benefit from the help of an attorney in obtaining appropriate redress.

Source: International Business Times, "Fired Waitress Hair: Black Ex-Hooters Employee Farryn Johnson Files Discrimination Suit, Claims Baltimore Hooters Canned Her Because Of Blonde Highlights", Howard Koplowitz, October 24, 2013

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