250000 hooters server: Farryn Johnson wins $250000 after getting fired for having blonde hair

April 10, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

$250,000 for Hooters server Farryn Johnson, an African-American woman, who was fired for having blonde hair. This week, an arbitrator awarded $250,000 to Farryn Johnson and her lawyers after they proved that racial discrimination led to her being terminated by Hooters in 2013. Hooters of America issued a statement claiming that the server lied to win the case.

250000 hooters server

$250,000 awarded to fired Hooters server, who claimed that she lost her job for having blonde highlights while being black. In August 2013, Farryn Johnson, who was a server at a Baltimore Hooters, was fired, reports the Inquisitr.

According to Johnson, she was terminated because she dyed her hair blonde. The woman, who was a “Hooters Girl” for about one year, claimed:

“The manager at the time literally said, ‘You can’t have blond because black people don’t have blond hair because it’s not natural.'”

The former server filed a lawsuit against the company. On Thursday, Farryn Johnson’s arbitrator Edmund D. Cooke Jr. awarded her the sum of $250,000. Cooke wrote:

“The evidence is undisputed that Hooters managers were provided no objective means for assessing whether the colors in a Hooters Girl’s hair complied with the policy.”

Happy with the decision, Johnson issued a statement that read:

“I hope that Hooters sees this as an opportunity to make improvements in the way they train their managers and the way they deal with their employees.”

However, Hooters is fighting back in a lengthy statement posted on their website. Ericka Whitaker, a senior brand manager for Hooters of America, said that the server made false allegations to win her case. She revealed:

“Having been promoted through the ranks from Hooters Girl to senior brand manager, I have primary responsibility for Hooters Girl Brand Image Standards—which are the same for all, regardless of race or ethnicity. These standards are applied equally to each and every one of our 300,000 present and former Hooters Girls,” said Ericka Whitaker, senior brand manager, Hooters of America. As a former Hooters Girl who happens to be African-American, I, like countless other African-American Hooters Girls today, regularly wore my hair in various shades of blond, or any other color consistent with our ‘girl next door’ image.”

According to the company, the attorney will get most of the money awarded by the court. Hooters added:

It is difficult to understand why someone acting as an Arbitrator in a dispute would not want to hear and consider all of the key evidence before making a decision. Contrary to exaggerated reports, Ms. Johnson did not receive $250,000 in back pay, but rather only $11,886.40, while her attorneys on the other hand received approximately $244,000 in attorneys’ fees. Given the Arbitrator’s clear bias, Hooters originally made an offer to settle earlier in the case that would have given Ms. Johnson almost four times as much as she was eventually awarded. It is Hooters’ opinion that her attorneys came out ahead when the case could not be settled, not Ms. Johnson.

What are your thoughts on Farryn Johnson’s case? What do you think of the $250,000 former Hooters server legal win?

Farryn Johnson

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    Comments (3)

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    1. Char says:

      Here Lawyers received most of the money, what she received is less than $12,000 which is less than minimum wage the attorney received $244,000 in legal fees. that is a waste of time and was not even a win.

    2. Tess says:

      blond hair not natural on blacks? ask someone whose hair is naturally blonde and the skin is not. and their boobs are natural? Really? well ok then

    3. Noni says:

      If her manager said, ” ‘You can’t have blond because black people don’t have blond hair because it’s not natural.'” then I certainly have no problem with her filing a suit. It’s a sad fact of life the there are all kinds of prejudice out there and it’s not all one way; if I chose to have my overly-fine, limp ‘white people’s’ hair permed into a 60’s afro and something in reverse was said to me, and I was subsequently fired, I’d go find an attorney too. Yep; the legal-eagle won on this suit but the plaintiff got her point across. Too bad she didn’t (apparently) receive as much as the actual amount she lost.


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