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HUMAN RESOURCES

Would You Fire a Woman for Shaving Her Head?

A young waitress loses her job for her bald show of support for an uncle dying of cancer.
Stephanie Lozinski said she was shocked by her firing because she'd let her bosses know of her plans to shave her head.
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Waitress Stephanie Lozinski shaved off her hair New Year's Eve as a show of support for her uncle, who was dying of cancer.

The move cost her her waitressing job at Sawatdee Thai Restaurant in Winnipeg – even though she'd worn either an auburn wig or an embroidered scarf in the two weeks before she was fired.

Lozinski, a 21-year-old student at the University of Winnipeg, told Canada's CTV: "I finished my shift on Sunday night, and at the end, [the manager] handed me my last paycheck and said her husband [and co-manager] had seen my head the night before and that it was inappropriate for the restaurant and that I shouldn't come in for my shift the next day."

Manager Linh Bo defended Lozinski's firing to the Winnipeg Free Press.

"If you go to fine dining, what do you expect from a server? Seriously," Bo said. "You walk into fine dining and you have fine dining."

Bo said the staff dress code at both branches of the restaurant prohibits visible tattoos. Staff also must wear their hair appropriately and women must wear a Thai skirt.

Lozinski says she wasn't told of a dress code – and believes if she were male she wouldn't have been fired for shaving her head. She said she was especially shocked by her firing because she'd let her bosses know of her plans.

She tried to take her case to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, but was told she didn't qualify for a hearing because she'd voluntarily shaved her head.

Lozinski's uncle died a week after her show of support.

IMAGE: Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press Archives
Last updated: Jan 28, 2011

COURTNEY RUBIN

Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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