An African-American Hooters waitress who claims she was fired because she had blond highlights was awarded $250,000 in lost wages and attorney compensation.
Farryn Johnson says she was told “Black people don’t have blond hair.” According to Johnson, she was fired from her Baltimore restaurant job in August 2013, because “Hooters prohibits African-American Hooters Girls from wearing blond highlights in their hair because it is not a natural color for African Americans.”
Johnson, who had worked at the restaurant for a little over a year, says she was approached by a manager about her hair’s highlights.
“The manager at the time literally said, ‘You can’t have blond because Black people don’t have blond hair.’ I was shocked.”
When Johnson didn’t change her hair she alleges her hours were cut, and she received several written warnings about her hair. Then she was ultimately fired. Subsequently, she sued for discrimination, and an arbitrator recently awarded her $250,000 for lost wages and attorney fees, reports the Inquisitr.
Arbitrator Edmund D. Cooke, Jr. said that Hooters violated state and federal civil rights laws, and that the hair policy “was implemented in a discriminatory manner adversely affecting African-American women.”
Hooters, known for its well-endowed waitresses, denies there was any racial discrimination on its part in the situation on their website and says no woman of any ethnicity has been told how to wear or color her hair.
According to Hooters, only about $12,000 would be compensatory to Johnson’s lost wages, with the rest goes to legal fees.