Former Hooters Waitress Wins Discrimination Case

April 5, 2015  |  

A former Hooters waitress in Baltimore, MD won a discrimination case against the restaurant. The waitress claimed the restaurant fired her because of her hair color.

In an exclusive interview with CBS Baltimore, the waitress discussed why she was fired.

After waiting for more than a year, Farryn Johnson gets the phone call she’s been hoping for.

“She said, ‘Good news. The law was on your side,’” Johnson said.

Johnson claims she was fired from the Harborplace Hooters in 2013 because her blonde highlights weren’t allowed.

“They said it was literally because I’m black and black people don’t have blonde hair. That’s what a manager actually told me,” she said.

Johnson claims that waitresses of other races were not disciplined for having unnatural hair colors.

An arbitrator ruled this week that the facts clearly show that Hooters policy was implemented in a way that discriminated against the former waitress.

Johnson’s attorney says the restaurant chain’s image policy is too vague.

“People have implicit biases and those shine through unfortunately when they’re left with so much discretion to make decisions,” said Jessica P. Weber, attorney.

Yensi: “What are you hoping this ruling means for the Hooters image policy?”

Weber: “Having a racially discriminatory image policy is wrong. It violates the law. They can’t do it.”

Johnson was awarded $250,00 for lost wages and attorney fees. However, Johnson wants more. She would like an official apology from Hooters.

However the restaurant posted the following statement online.

“Ms. Johnson’s claims of discrimination are simply without merit and Hooters received an adverse and flawed decision from the arbitrator presiding over the case.”

It looks like she may not get that apology just yet.

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