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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.


by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM
Replies (21-30):
lga1965
by Ruby Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM
That's what I was thinking !

Quoting cjsbmom:


Quoting romalove:


Quoting cjsbmom:

I'm thinking the attorney has seen them. Surely an attorney wouldn't suggest pressing forward with discrimination charges if they didn't have evidence to support it. At least I would hope not. 

Quoting romalove:

I'd love to see the actual write ups.

If the story is as told, of course it is discrimination.



Attorneys do that kind of thing all the time.

They find ways to invalidate, or try to invalidate, what is said.

And honestly, sometimes the write ups are doctored or otherwise suspect.

I once had a boss (I was 17 at the time, fresh out of high school) who was gay and closeted.  I found out he was gay and he knew I found out.  I didn't tell anyone and didn't discuss it and had no intention of talking about it, but I think it scared him (we worked for a prestigious private bank on Wall Street).  This was 1980, times were a bit different than now.

Anyway, he started to periodically call me into his office to ask me to do something different than before, like "instead of filing the intakes in these folders, I think we should put them into this box here".  That kind of thing.

Then he would do a write up, without my knowledge, about how he had to call me into his office to straighten out my work.

After two months of this, he fired me.  

His boss, who liked me very much, actually called me at home and wanted to know what happened.  I told him what I knew, and he sent me a month's severance, even though I had only been there for about four months.

I was lucky that man knew and liked me and understood.  Not everyone would be in that position.  

So, when these things come up, I take them with ten grains of salt, and then have a nice margarita....

It's nice that he sent you a month's severance pay, but how about rehiring you and then firing the jerk of a manager who baited you into doing things wrong so he could fire you? That was totally not cool. 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I agree. 

Quoting momtoscott:

As presented, it's discrimination.  


pamelax3
by Gold Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

As it is presented yes it is discrimination, but I bet there is more too it

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I went to Hooters back in March.  There were four girls and one dude, he followed us every where, for 5 weeks.  The least we could do was take him to Hooters. lol

Outside of crappy food and crappy service, there was a beautiful, young black girl working.  She caught the eye of our friend. :)  She had purple and pink in her hair.

I need to look to see if she was in any of the photos either I took or one of the other girls took.

foxfroggy
by Bronze Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Of course it's discrimination. How can that even be a question if there are different rules based solely on race?

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

 Sure, it is discrimination, but is it actionable?  That is the question.  She didn't lose her job.  She was simply told to have natural-looking highlights or hair color.  If there are other waitresses with blue or green hair, then she has a case.  Just that white waitresses have highlights that could conceivably be natural colors does not make her case. 

LNLMommy
by Queen K on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

you would be surprised 

Quoting foxfroggy:

Of course it's discrimination. How can that even be a question if there are different rules based solely on race?


paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Oct. 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM


Quoting SuzCahn:

 I'm not sure what a "Hooters Image" is supposed to look like?

I need more info to make a judgment.


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juno1
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I don't know many white ladies that have natural blond highlights in their hair...  Hooters blew this one.  

juno1
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Ha...that made me laugh... Hooters image..... omg

Quoting paganbaby:


Quoting SuzCahn:

 I'm not sure what a "Hooters Image" is supposed to look like?

I need more info to make a judgment.



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