Baltimore Woman Fired from Hooters for Being Black With Blonde Highlights in Her Hair

via CBS Baltimore

The popular restaurant chain Hooters–accused of racial discrimination by a former employee in Baltimore. And it all centers around her hair.

Specifically, the complaint alleges white waitresses are allowed to have highlights in their hair, but black waitresses are not.

Farryn Johnson’s blonde highlights–now at the center of a complaint filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

“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.

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.

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.