The fired waitress hair complaint against Hooters by an African-American woman whose blond highlights do not match the “wholesome look for which Hooters is known,” has been filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, reported the Baltimore Insider on Oct. 23, 2013.
The complaint, stating that 25-year-old African-American waitress Farryn Johnson was fired from her Hooters job because of her highlighted hair, is bringing Hooters' appearance policy into the media.
According to former Hooters waitress Farryn Johnson’s attorney, Jessica P. Weber of Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP, the waitress was fired because she had highlighted her hair.
Waitress Farryn Johnson began working at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Hooters' restaurant almost a year ago. After she highlighted her hair in June, she was reprimanded. According to the complaint, after refusing to change her hair color back to her “natural” look, the waitress was fired in August.
In its advertisement, Hooters describes itself as “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” restaurant and is known for its “scantily clad buxom” Hooters girls. However, allegedly firing one of the waitresses for changing her natural hair color is shifting the focus from the curvy to the curly.
In response to the fired waitress hair complaint filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, Rebecca Sinclair, who is the chief human resources officer for Hooters of America, commented that “when you’re representing an iconic brand there are standards to follow. Hooters Girls are required to be camera-ready at all times to promote the glamorous, wholesome look for which Hooters is known.”
While Hooters denies having fired an African-American waitress because of her “unnatural” hair color and denies that the company has different policies or standards for hair based on race, fired waitress Farryn Johnson says that her supervisors said that her hair was “not natural” looking with blond highlights because she was African-American.
As waitress Farryn Johnson is seeking lost wages for the time that she has been out of work and asking that Hooters changes its policy, it should be quite interesting to see how the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights will handle the complaint by a Hooters waitress who was allegedly fired for her hair highlights.