A fired waitress has claimed that her hair brought about her dismissal at Hooters in Baltimore, Md.
Farryn Johnson, who has black hair naturally, has claimed she was fired for having blonde highlights in her hair, which she says her former employer called "unnatural" and went against their appearance policy for "Hooters Girls." She has since filed a complaint against Hooters claiming discrimination.
Johnson was reportedly reprimanded about her hair in June, and then later fired in August when she refused to change her hair.
However, Johnson, who is black, claims that other workers there also had unnaturally colored hair and were not fired; they included an Asian-American woman with bright red hair, and a white woman with black hair and platinum highlights.
Johnson has filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, saying that other black employees were also told to change their hair, including having to straighten their curls, where as other white women with curly hair were allowed to keep theirs.
However, the Chief Human Resources Officer for Hooters of America, Rebecca Sinclair, has denied any discriminatory policies at the chain.
"When you're representing an iconic brand there are standards to follow," Sinclair said in a statement. "Hooters Girls are required to be camera-ready at all times to promote the glamorous, wholesome look for which Hooters is known."
"Hooters adamantly denies that it has different policies and standards for hair based on race," she continued. "As a global brand, Hooters embraces our culturally diverse employee base and our standards are applied impartially," Sinclair said in a statement.
Johnson claims compensation for lost wages, and wants to force the chain to change its policies.