Hooters manager asks waitress to wear a wig after brain surgery

The waitress is suing the restaurant chain for cutting her hours so deeply she had to quit after she stopped wearing the wig.

Imagine a scenario in which you leave work for a few weeks to have surgery for a brain tumor. Your head is shaved bald. There’s a scar on your head. You return to work and a manager tells you to wear a wig. Would that be OK?

What if you worked at Hooters?

Waitress Sandra Lupo didn’t think it was OK. She’s suing the restaurant chain on the basis of disability.

Her manager initially said a “chemo cap” would be sufficient to cover her scar, but a regional manager said a wig was necessary. When Lupo said she couldn’t afford a wig, the manager insisted and refused to pay for one. Lupo ended up borrowing a wig that irritated her scar, so she stopped wearing it. The restaurant cut her hours back so deeply she quit.

Hooters could have handled the situation differently, communicators say, but the company may have also been within its rights to ask Lupo to wear the wig.

The legal question

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