An African American worker at a Hooters in Baltimore said she was fired from her job because she put blonde highlights in her hair.
Farryn Johnson told Baltimore’s CBS News affiliate that she was let go from her job as a waitress at Hooters due to ‘”improper image” after the 25-year-old refused to remove blonde highlights from her dark brown hair.
“They specifically said, ‘Black women don’t have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out,’” Johnson told CBS.
“I didn’t see that it would be a big issue just because there were a lot of other employees working at the restaurant of other races with color in their hair. For instance, there were Asian girls with red hair and Caucasian girls with black hair and blond streaks so I didn’t think it would be an issue for the little piece of blond highlight in my hair.”
Johnson has reportedly filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
“The law is clear that employers can’t have two separate unequal sets of rules—one for African-Americans employees and one for everybody else, and yet that’s exactly what Hooters did here in firing Miss Johnson, an African-American employee solely because she’s African-American. They targeted her because of her hair solely because of her race,” Johnson’s attorney, Jessica Weber, told CBS.
Hooters has declined to comment, citing pending litigation.