Farryn Johnson has blond highlights in her hair, but the beauty statement didn’t go over too well at her job. Johnson is suing Hooters and is accusing the chain of racial discrimination.

Johnson’s complaint Hooter’s white waitresses are allowed to have highlights in their hair, but black waitresses are not.

“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,” she said.

From CBS News Baltimore:

Johnson, 25, was fired from her job as a waitress at Baltimore’s Harborplace Hooters in August after she was told by managers her hair color violated 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,’” said Johnson.

Jessica Weber is Farryn’s attorney.

“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,” said attorney Jessica Weber, Brown Goldstein Levy.

Hooters declined to make a statement due to the pending litigation. The case is currently being investigated by the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. It has also received attention from Maryland Delegate Mary Washington, (D) Baltimore. Washington feels that there employees do have the right to make personal appearance policy, but they must apply to everyone.

“Why don’t we just not define hairstyles for anyone?” said Washington.


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