Postmedia News January 27, 2011 – 7:40 am
By Melissa Martin
WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg waitress will file a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission after she lost her job for shaving her head on New Year’s Eve as a show of support for her uncle who was dying of cancer.
“Having a physical symbol that I’m there for (him) is important,” says Stephanie Lozinski, a full-time student at the University of Winnipeg. “Looking pretty means nothing (compared to cancer).”
But on Jan. 16, after she finished a shift at Winnipeg’s Sawatdee Thai’s restaurant, she was told her hairless head was not in keeping with the restaurant’s dress code and dismissed.
Ms. Lozinski, who had covered her head with a long auburn wig or an embroidered scarf, was stunned, especially since she said she told her bosses about her plan beforehand.
Manager Linh Bo said the step was justified.
“If you go to fine dining, what do you expect from a server? Seriously,” said Mr. Bo. “You walk into fine dining and you have fine dining.”
Bo said managers at the restaurant’s two locations are clear with staff that they can’t have visible tattoos and must wear their hair appropriately, besides dressing in a Thai skirt.
But Ms. Lozinski, who said she was never informed of a dress code, doesn’t believe the firing was fair.
Had she been male, she doubts she would have been lost her job for shaving her head.
Ms. Lozinski left messages with the Manitoba’s Human Rights Commission this week and plans to file a complaint soon.
This isn’t the first time a shaved head for cancer has sparked an employment tussle.
In 2008, an Owen Sound, Ont. waitress, Stacey Fearnall, was fired after she shaved her head to raise $2,700 for cancer charities. After a storm of media attention, the restaurant’s owner apologized to Fearnall and cancer groups. Ms. Fearnall found work elsewhere.
Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/27/fired-bald-waitress-to-file-complaint/#ixzz1CGcotkg3
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