Black waitress says she was fired for blonde highlights

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BALTIMORE — A Baltimore woman has filed a discrimination suit against her former employer “Hooters” saying she was fired after putting blond highlights in her hair.

Farryn Johnson said management told her to change it, but she says she couldn’t afford to do so on her already stretched budget.

She was later fired — she says — for what the company calls “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,” Johnson said. “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 has filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Right.

Johnson said a manager told her, “Black women don’t have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out.”

When asked about the complaint, Hooters of America said it will not comment on pending litigation, however, Inquisitr.com reports that Rebecca Sinclair, chief human resources officer for Hooters of America, released a statement, saying Hooters does not have different standards for waitresses of different races.

“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. Hooters adamantly denies that it has different policies and standards for hair based on race. As a global brand, Hooters embraces our culturally diverse employee base and our standards are applied impartially.”

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