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Former Hooters Waitress Says She Was Fired from Restaurant over Brain Surgery

Update Date: Apr 09, 2013 02:09 PM EDT
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A former waitress at Hooters is suing the restaurant chain, alleging that the restaurant forced her to quit because she was bald from a surgery.

Hooters is a restaurant chain well-known for its wings and its good-looking, curvaceous waitresses who work there. According to UPI, Sandra Lupo worked at a branch of the restaurant in suburban Saint Louis. Last June, she needed surgery in order to remove a mass from her brain. As a result, she needed to cut her hair extremely short in order to make the surgery possible.

After the surgery, the lawsuit alleges that the restaurant's manager Brent Holmberg stated that she would be able to continue working at the establishment. He also told the former server that she would not need to wear a wig when she returned to work.

However, according to the Huffington Post, the reality was not so bright. When Lupo returned to work, she was told that she would need to wear a wig. Ms. Lupo attempted to follow the guidelines, but found that the wig was uncomfortable and irritated her scar. Because Ms. Lupo was unable to wear the wig, the restaurant cut her hours so much that she was forced to quit her job.

According to Fox News, the Americans with Disabilities Act outlaws discrimination based on disability. That can be a physical or mental impairment. The law also bans discrimination based on a previous disability, or even the perception of a disability based on appearance. Justin Lisser, a lawyer at  the United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said that, while she could not comment on the specific details of the case, she said that someone who was fired because of a brain surgery would fit all three of those criteria.

Hooters' lawyers denied Sandra Lupo's allegations and has asked for the case to be dismissed.

Ms. Lupo was working at Hooters in order to finance her education to become a nurse. Apparently, the firing has not been a major setback to the former server; she currently works as a registered nurse.

The entire petition to the court can be found here.

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