A former Hooters waitress in Baltimore claims racial discrimination after she was terminated because her hair color reportedly violated employee image standards.
Farryn Johnson’s complaint alleges that white waitresses are allowed to have highlights in their hair, but black waitresses are not, according to WJZ.
“They gave me write-ups and they told me I need to take the color out of my hair. And they said I couldn’t have blonde in my hair because I’m black. They specifically said, ‘Black women don’t have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out,’” the 25-year-old Johnson said.
ABC2News.com reports that Johnson said she couldn’t afford to go back to the salon to change it, and a few months later she was fired for what the company deemed as her 'improper image'.
"I didn't see that it would be a big issue just because there were a lot of other employees working at the restaurant of other races with color in their hair. For instance, there were Asian girls with red hair and Caucasian girls with black hair and blond streaks so I didn't think it would be an issue for the little piece of blond highlight in my hair," Johnson stated.
Mail Online reports that her complaint has been filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
"The law is clear that employers can't have two separate unequal sets of rules—one for African-Americans employees and one for everybody else, and yet that's exactly what Hooters did here in firing Miss Johnson,” said Jessie Weber, Johnson’s attorney.