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LNLMommy
Is this discrimination?
October 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 9.55.02 PM

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.


Replies

  • Mrs.Pedro
    October 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM
    Yes. Not all white women have blonde hair and she said the other ladies had different colors too that can be unnatural... Sooo? Yes, they need to apply the same standards across the board or look away from her use of blonde highlights like they do the others.
  • romalove
    October 23, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    I'd love to see the actual write ups.

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


  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    October 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    If the other waitresses were allowed to have highlights, then yes, they are discriminating against her. You can't have two separate rules for two separate races. That clearly violates federal law. 

    Hooters seems to get itself in a lot of trouble over this kind of stuff. Maybe they need to retrain their management across the entire chain. 

  • LNLMommy
    October 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    It's so funny because my hair has natural blonde highlights and all my children are born with blond highlights as well. The older I get, the blonder (more blonde?)  my hair turns.

    Quoting Mrs.Pedro:

    Yes. Not all white women have blonde hair and she said the other ladies had different colors too that can be unnatural... Sooo? Yes, they need to apply the same standards across the board or look away from her use of blonde highlights like they do the others.


  • cjsbmom
    by cjsbmom
    October 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    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.



  • romalove
    October 23, 2013 at 8:40 AM


    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....

  • Mrs.Pedro
    October 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM
    My husband has black hair and so does his entire family, but he still has a few blonde hairs here and there. My whole family has weird hair... My mom got red hair from seemingly out of nowhere, and my own hair is a dark dirty blonde even though my dad's hair is dark brown lol.

    Quoting LNLMommy:

    It's so funny because my hair has natural blonde highlights and all my children are born with blond highlights as well. The older I get, the blonder (more blonde?)  my hair turns.

    Quoting Mrs.Pedro:

    Yes. Not all white women have blonde hair and she said the other ladies had different colors too that can be unnatural... Sooo? Yes, they need to apply the same standards across the board or look away from her use of blonde highlights like they do the others.


  • LNLMommy
    October 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    BUMP!

  • greenie63
    October 23, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I had to watch the interview, but yes it seems obvious to be discriminatory. I had to chuckle at how Hooters claims it violates their " employee image standards. " 

  • numbr1wmn
    October 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    This is discrimination.  She has everyright to sue

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