A Hooters restaurant is being sued for racial discrimination after firing a black waitress, Farryn Johnson, and telling her she couldn’t wear her blonde highlights.
Johnson, who says she works with white waitresses who are allowed to wear highlights in their hair, took her complaint to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
In an interview with CBS’ Baltimore affiliate, WJZ, Johnson gave her side of the story:
“My other coworkers, they all had different colors in their hair, like red and blonde highlights. I didn’t think it would be an issue.”
Johnson, 25, was told her hair color violated the company’s employee image standards.
“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,’”
Johnson’s attorney, Jessica Weber said the main issue here is that the standards aren’t applied across the board.
“What’s wrong is that both federal and state law clearly say employers can’t impose two separate and distinct rules governing employee standards–one for African-American employees and one for everyone else. And that’s clearly what Hooters did here,”
Hooter declined comment. The case is now in the hands of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and their investigation could take months.