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Waitress Shaves Hair For Charity, Told to Take Time Off. Fair?

A restaurant owner in Ontario, Canada has gotten himself into a very hairy situation. Waitress Stacey Fearnall recently raised more than $2,700 for cancer research by shaving her hair, but she claims when she showed up for work without her locks and refused to sport a wig, her boss unceremoniously told her to take the summer off without pay.

The restaurant is described as an "upscale steak and seafood eatery" and Fearnall, who is 36, had worked there for two years.

The boss said his "restaurant has certain standards prohibiting men from wearing earrings and requiring employees to keep their hair at a reasonable length," adding that the waitress is still on the payroll and can return to work when her hair grows back. My favorite part? The owner of the restaurant said all workers are expected to "dress appropriately" and that he didn't think Fearnall's look was "appropriate." Really? Would he rather she wear Britney Spears' extensions?

Join The Conversation
Xaede Xaede 9 years
Though I think dress code is something the manager should have control over, I think that's as far as it should go. Her hair looks very chic and clean in my opinion, not to mention it went for a really good cause. Plus, if a waitress with a shaved head served me food, I'd be happy knowing none of her hair could get in it, lol. What if she herself had cancer and lost her hair with treatment? Would she be banned from working there? What a disgrace. I know for a fact that some of the nurses that work in the oncology unit of Children's Hospitals have shaved their heads to be more approachable for little kids that lost their hair, and the idea is met with alot of positive responses.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I am in the minority here but the owner has every right to expect a certain look for his staff, and he has the right to tell her to take leave without pay till it grows back. It has nothing to do with the good deed she did, or him being an A-hole. I have worked in restaurants, upscale ones, where a waitress with a shaved head would not be what the customers want to see.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
She's sensationalizing it because she adores her grandfather, as I did mine. It's OK. I took her comments with a grain of salt, and went on. Buzz cuts on women rae bad fuzzles. They don't look good, and IMO, they scream "I am a rebel! I dare you to cross me!" If you want a buzz cut, that's your choice, but be prepared for the consequences of your actions.
foxie foxie 9 years
Fuzzles, stop spinning what he said. He didn't say anything offensive or make any judgements about anyone, and certainly not your father. He said SOME people are told by doctors not to work. Why sensationalize it?
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
UD, I have never stated what kind of cancer my father has, what his treatment plan is, or what his limitations are or may become. HUGE, HUGE, and offensive judgement on your part. Fact is, he is simply one of the hardest working Americans you could ever hope to know. And, God Forbid, he is a Democrat.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
So, UD, does that mean that buzz cuts are grounds for business owners to refuse employment to male Iraq vets? Or is that somehow unacceptable?
foxie foxie 9 years
BIG difference.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Stephley - there's a difference between short hair and a buzz cut.
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
the owner has every right to enforce what ever kind of dress code he finds appropriate for his establishment. i'm sure there is a handbook outlining the rules. the owner probably came up with the rule based on the clientèle...i don't know about the people here, but i LOVE fine dining (i like to treat myself to $300 meals as opposed to a pair of shoes) and when i look around at the fellow patrons-they ARE The type who would look down on this poor woman. it is unfortunate that such a selfless act ended up affecting her negatively. i find solace in the fact that these close minded views won't be around forever. as the younger generations get older i do believe things like personal appearance won't be paid much attention to.
stephley stephley 9 years
I don't think of rebel when I see a woman with short hair. Nancy Reagan has short hair. Queen Elizabeth has short hair. When I see a bald woman, I think 'wow, she's got great cheekbones to carry that off' or chemo. And the guy owns a restaurant, the idea that he's controlling anyone's inner anything is nuts.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Let's look at this from the perspective of the owner. How someone dresses and maintains their personal appearance affects the customer's desire to eat there. If you have a woman who has short hair, the first thing you think of is rebel. This brings you to attitude problem. The owner wants to maintain a certain image, both in appearance and attitude. If you aren't willing to maintain the outter appearance, then you'll never be able to control the inner, when push comes to shove.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm the one who said some people are required to stop working by their doctors. I never said they would be disabled for a lifetime. The doctor was requiring them to be off while receiving treatments.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I stopped reading posts after someone said something about people with cancer not being able to work. My father has had, and continues to battle cancer. Although retired, he continues to work part-time at nearly 70 years of age. This gal tried to help people with cancer and now it's okay that she is out of a job because of the length of her hair? Really, WTF????
MindayH MindayH 9 years
This is so sad. If I was a customer, I would never go back
JessNess JessNess 9 years
Its jerks like this boss that feed into gender stereotypes of what men and women should look like. So for a woman to be presentable she has to have long hair? It is such a double standard because I am sure that the owner is fine with men having a shaved head. It is complete discrimination. I would LOVE to know what he considers an appropriate length of hair :oy: Her not having hair is not going to affect her work ethic or the customers. Hey if anything its a guarantee that you wont get any hair in your food (sorry bad joke). Also how long is her hair really going to be after the summer? The guy is a jerk and
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Bad press! I am sure some customers are going to get pissed and ever eat there again! Wouldn't it be better for his place if customers knew of the waitress and were proud to eat there?
ohbaby7 ohbaby7 9 years
I have a feeling he wont be the owner of that restaurant for very long, or his restaurant may be losing A LOT of business
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Then more people need Aflac's Cancer Insurance. It's.....(This is the sales portion of this comment, and is accordingly being blocked). Two of my clients were told by the doctors that they couldn't work during the treatments, even though they felt well enough to work.
stephley stephley 9 years
I know people who have worked through chemo treatments - some people can't afford the treatments otherwise.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
If she actually had cancer, she wouldn't have been able to work because the treatments. She made a choice, and now must suffer the consequences. I'm sorry about her predicament, but it was her choice. I don't think she'll have a problem getting another job elsewhere.
Xandara Xandara 9 years
And what if she actually HAD cancer and lost all her hair? Would she lose her job, then, too?!?? Ugh.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
I don't think it's right at all.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
served by**
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
If there was an actual rule that required a certain length, then I guess her time off would be inevitable. However, assuming there isn't one, I don't think having a shaved head makes anyone any less presentable. I've been served with by waitresses with shaved heads. It didn't make the service any less desirable, the restaurant any less respectable, nor the food any less delicious. I don't see a threat to business, but...I guess the guy just had a stick up his butt.
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