Fired Waitress Over Hair Color Speaks Out

    October 23, 2013
    Jennifer Curra
    Comments are off for this post.

Have you ever heard of being disciplined by an employer for arriving late to work? Calling in sick? Not getting the job done? How about getting fired for having the wrong hair color?

Beautiful, twenty-five-year-old Farryn Johnson was recently subjected to such a scenario where she was fired from her restaurant job, and claims it was due to the blonde highlights streaking through her hair. That’s right; she only had highlights not even a fully-dyed head of hair.

Farryn Johnson, the former waitress for restaurant chain, Hooters, recently spoke about her experience.

“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 a issue for the little piece of blond highlight in my hair,” Farryn Johnson said.

Johnson has filed a lawsuit with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, citing that she was fired from the Baltimore Inner Harbor Hooters’ due to “unnatural” hair color under claims of an “improper image”.

According to Jessica P. Weber of Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP, who is Johnson’s attorney, Farryn was told by her supervisors that the highlights violated the company’s policy on appearance.

The chief human resources officer for Hooters of America, Rebecca Sinclair, released a statement on behalf of the company.

“When you’re representing an iconic brand there are standards to follow. Hooters Girls are required to be camera-ready at all times to promote the glamorous, wholesome look for which Hooters is known. Hooters adamantly denies that it has different policies and standards for hair based on race. As a global brand, Hooters embraces our culturally diverse employee base and our standards are applied impartially,” the statement read.

What do you think? Delightfully tacky yet unrefined, or just tacky and cruel?

[Image And Video Via YouTube]
  • http://yahoo melinda

    I think Hooters is a garbage place for any young women to work.I hope this lovely girl finds a more respectable job where she’s not looked upon as a piece of meat.

    • JC

      I do also…but in the mean time…I hope she sues their pants and gets big bucks. This is insane!

      • RJ

        Why is this even news worthy? Hooters can fire this person for this reason if they want. It’s not discrimination and they they may have a business argument to boot. I don’t agree with it, but it may be a rule to follow in order to work there. Hooters is famous for winning a lawsuit filed by a man who tried to get a job as a server. He filed a gender discrimination lawsuit and lost because the Hooters business model centers around their servers. Hot female servers! People don’t go there for the wings. I should say guys don’t go there for the wings.

        • Dru

          Not another “Why is this news?” cliche. If you found it interesting enough to follow the link, it’s worthy of being considered news, as is weather reports, editorials, opinion pieces, movie reviews, etc. If you think something isn’t “News” then simply take a pass and NOT read it.

        • Liz

          They can’t fire her for it if they allow other employees to do it.

    • Dru

      At her young age, ANY legal job that pays for tuition is respectable.

  • Ida

    I think she is a beautiful and cute female, very neat looking. I would cherish her waiting on me as she seems the type to take care of herself. Shame on Hooters. I guess they like the slutty look, and this young lady doesnot look like that at all.

    • http://idontknow no way

      “cherish her” waiting on you? how nice. :)

  • Lois

    Shame on Hooters, being blond, blue eyes, with fake enlarged boobs is not the only beautiful image in America, Black is also beauriful.

  • Erica

    But Hooters will allow unnatural breast? What the hell?

  • Bored

    Who knew that hair was judged at Hooters?

  • M

    I’m sorry but she’s upset because she got fired from some crappy, demeaning job? She should thank them. Now she has the opportunity to find a real career. Maybe one where she can have some self respect. There are people with REAL problems in the world. I’m sure she can find another job as a waitress anywhere, preferably a place where the food doesn’t taste like microwave junk and the servers are paid and tipped for their work and not their boobs and butt hanging out. I can’t believe this is news…

    • Dru

      “Find another job?” Is this what you tell people in this economy? Tell me, what’s dumber than stupid?

      • Spoiledrottenbrat1965

        Really Dru, there are 1,000’s of jobs out there, people just refuse to do them. i know for a fact Caterpillar is looking for people in the Las Vegas area, they need to fill 600 jobs in the US and they can’t because people don’t want to work starting at 40,000. If you have experience it’s higher. So don’t even say there are no jobs, there are no jobs for lazy people.

        • Abbington

          If there are 600 jobs that Caterpillar cannot fill in this economy, then Caterpillar is not paying enough. I have no idea what they expect people to do for $40,000 a year, but if the job is actually worth $60 or $70,000, quality qualified people will not do it for $40,000 for long. Apparently, (if what you say is even true)preying on the truly desperate by offering slave wages for a hard job that requires a CDL an other training isn’t working out very well for Caterpillar. But then, that is actually the way Capitalism is supposed to work.

          • Nolan

            When you get an entry level position anywhere your pay will not be high. You bust your ass and climb the ladder, that’s the way America was built. If you can’t live off 40,000 a year then you need to learn how to budget. Don’t have 8 kids when you know you can’t afford them, don’t buy a nice car when you know you can’t afford it, etc. it’s not that people don’t make enough money, the problem is people spend too much money. Take our government for example.

    • papa61

      Free money is what she is looking for.
      Boofers are gona to boof

  • http://none Santos

    She is not Black, She is light brown. She should be able to color her hair any way she wants to as long as it looks nice and she does look nice in these pictures…

  • b jade

    I have been in this business for 25 years, I have done everything from bussing tables to being a GM. Hooters claim is she violated the wholesome look that they uphold! first of all there is nothing wholesome about the appearance of hooter girls. Im not saying there’s anything wrong with what hooters does,its a great gimmick. Hooters,slang for a part of female anatomy an dress them in little shorts and a white tank top that’s 2 sizes 2 small to put emphasis on tht part of the womens anatomy, there’s nothing wholesome about tht place. so what is hooters saying, the tight tank top, pushed up boobs an tiny shorts is wholesome but when u put highlights in ur hair it makes u look dirty or like a whore? I bet tht the manager wanted to fire her for some other reason(make room for more hours,hire another girl or she was difficult)so when she did the highlights it was the managers opportunity to fire her but I sure managmnt wasn’t expecting her to fight it cause most women wldnt. KEEP FIGHTING IT AN DONT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. TO MANY PLACES DO!

  • Suzanne Rosenorn

    I used to work as a hirstylist at Sports Clip in Darien, Illinois. This company made us buy expensive uniorms and their tools to work there. The lady in the station across from me wore a wig to work one day so they fired her for that. I got rearended by a car and had to go to the hospital. They fired me because I was there instead of work. Crappy corporate companies!

  • Marlowe28

    Hooter’s has standards? I thought you just had to have big tits and you were qualified.

    Fwiw, I don’t like the little blonde tail but it’s nothing to be fired over. I think that she would look better with actual highlights throughout her hair but slutty is the look at Hooter’s so who the hell cares?

  • Francis Phillip

    “tacky yet unrefined, or just tacky and cruel”……Actually from the wording of this report, I think it was not only tacky and cruel, but hypocritical and racist also.

  • http://Yahoo K Neale

    Hooters, Wholesome image? Who’s he trying to kid!

  • bill

    Hooters “waitresses” are hired as models, look it up. Therefore they CAN do this and it is legal. End of story.

  • Triad

    Beautiful and model ready? Glamorous wholesome looks? Ms. Sinclair obviously has never been to the Hooters on the south side of Indianapolis.

  • dave

    come on Hooters,life is hard,stop this crap and let the girl work!!!

  • Spoiledrottenbrat1965

    Someone else looking for a hand out. This girl was never fired because of her hair, she was fired for being lazy and not doing her job. She just wants everyone to think that she was fired because of hair color so she can file a law suit and not have to worry about working.

  • Ken

    I think her ‘Hooters’ weren’t big enough & her hair was fine.

  • Heather

    she is an at-will employee which means she can be fired for no cause. this is not a discrimination suit. if she goes forward with this lawsuit, she will be branded and no one will want to hire her. shame on the lawyers for even considering this lawsuit. this is what is wrong with our country — everyone is trying to get something for nothing.

    • TRoberts

      It is not “at will” employment the second the Company states a reason rather than just tell the employee that they have decided to end the relationship. It’s obvious that the Hooter’s manager, or whomever fired her, wasn’t schooled on how it needed to be done, to fit the “at will” criteria. At any rate, it is not likely that her hair was the problem. It seems that Hooters has racial bias issues(against people of brown skin), and it is doubtful that these lawsuits will end until Hooters changes it’s hiring and firing practices. By the way, I don’t see a problem with her hair. It’s neat and she appears to be well-groomed.

  • http://webpronews that’sridiculous

    What about all the “blondes” that are not really blondes? They have their hair colored and when it starts growing out there staring you in the face is DARK ROOTS. Sue their a$$ off

  • David

    Saying you’re going to Hooters for the “wholesome” look is like saying you’re reading a porno magazine for the articles!

  • Gary

    I think she looks very nice.

  • TLJ

    Because EVERYONE that works at Hooters is a natural blonde

  • Stefanie

    What’s that I smell. I smell MONEY, and lots of it. She’ll be fine.

  • Nolan

    Businesses should be able to hire and fire for whatever reason they want. If she didn’t fit the image Hooters wants then so be it. Stop with frivolous lawsuits. It’s America, grow a backbone.

    • Daniel P

      Sorry,I gave you a thumbs down by mistake.Your comment is good.

    • TJ

      Thats right grow a back bone! Start a union.

  • http://none Richard

    After I retired I went to work for Publix Supermarkets in Florida. They had a dress code that was explained prior to starting work. Hair can not be any color that is not a natural hair color. Men can not have ear rings. Publix employees are hired for their appearance and their attitudes. That is one reason I enjoy shopping there even if their prices are a little more than other grocery stores. If Hooters explained all of the dress code to her then she has no case.

  • Peter

    If you sell your soul to the devil, you have to play by his rules!

  • Daniel P

    If it was racial she would have never been hired in the first place.Case over,suck it up and get another job.

  • cindy sedlock

    Did they say “wholesome”? Little House on the Prairie is wholesome! I’m “rooting” for you Farryn!!!!

  • Tony

    What happen to being given a verbal warning that this isn’t our policy? But if you going to allow other ethics groups to change their hair style and they don’t get fired then management can’t fire her. This is called profiling. And she will win her law suit.

  • http://yahoo williet

    Maybe was fired because was black?

  • http://www.kint98.com Miles

    Farryn was told by her supervisors that the highlights violated the company’s policy on appearance? Really now. The last thing customers would notice is their hair color. Their eyes will focus on other things than her hair. Besides Hooters lacks class for my taste. One place I really like is “Bone Daddy’s” in Dallas. The food there is excellent with more variety. Their version of Hooters but with a class act. Waitress’s there are not as skimpy.
    As far as a violation for termination because of hair color can be considered discrimination. I do hope she wins this case, and move on. Hooters does have a bad reputation and overrated anyway.
    Good luck in court and hope you win.

  • georgia bice

    I think there is noting wrong with her hair. I have hair that looks a lot worse than that at other resturants and nothing being said or done about that. I just don’t see what the big deal is. If the costumers don’t mind then why should the higher ups mind.

    • Elle

      What are costumers?

  • APH

    This coming from a company notorious for promoting breast implants? Go figure!

  • Elle

    Realy???? Hooter’s says it has a standard of upholding the “wholesome” look? What is wholesome about ugly orange short, shorts and torn up t-shirts that are two sizes too small so that the waitresses’ boobs are pushed up? That is not the definition of wholesome. Also, really….do black people ever get fired and NOT claim racial bias? It will be hard to prove racial bias when there are many waitresses of different races working there. I am sure there is more to this story thanwe are being told. Hooter’s knows what it is doing. This girl probably had some other infractions that we are not being told about but she knows if she cries “discrimination” that she will get the attention she wants.

  • http://www.moonsmusings.com Lisa

    ““When you’re representing an iconic brand there are standards to follow,” Sinclair said in a statement. “Hooters Girls are required to be camera-ready at all times to promote the glamorous, wholesome look for which Hooters is known.””

    Was that said with a straight face? Wow! That’s amazing!

  • Linda

    Who are they kidding? “When you’re representing an iconic brand there are standards to follow. Hooters Girls are required to be camera-ready at all times to promote the glamorous, wholesome look for which Hooters is known.” Seriously???!!! All they’re known for are women showing off their boobs and their butts hanging out their shorts. If there are really Asian women with red hair and White women with black hair with red highlights, then why was this lady picked out of the crowd? I hope she wins her suit and bankrupts Hooters.

  • TJ

    Look out, here come Al and Jesse.


    Hooters will win this dispute! They can hire and fire whomever they please! The world hates a Whiner! Go to McDonalds where you belong! Think I’m a bigot? Damn right I am!

  • Jeff

    We are only hearing one side of the story. In order to make a real opinion one needs to hear the other side. This does not add up. I will bet there is more to the story.

    • Merri

      Your right. I got this exert from Hooter’s handbook from another article:

      “Always be sure that highlights are complimentary to your original hair color. Drastically different hightlighted tones or colors in your hair is not attractive or permitted as part of the Hooters Girl Image.”

      So basically it is in the handbook. I don’t think she has a leg to stand on. She will have to drag in every other worker with hair that may not go by this. It also states that it has be styled everyday like you are going on a date or photo shoot, not everyone makes a good blond, hair color and highlights have to compliment your skin tone and natural hair color etc etc. You can’t come in with wet hair and even if it may dry nice, it is not good enough, gotta be styled big. Honestly they take the job knowing all of this. She is not the only one that has ever been told to change it. She just wants to see what she can get. Not the first time Hooters has come under fire. Nothing has changed with any other case filed.



  • Zee

    The attorney’s comment states that Hooters wants to maintain their “wholesome” image. How can they maintain what they’ve never had. This is bullcrap.

  • LucyLu

    you know when a man writes a policy about having natural hair for women, because the sexist pig doesnt know, just about 75 percent of the women dye their!! What woman doesnt have natural hair color anymore. highlights are in.