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Sandra Lupo, Former Hooter's Waitress, Sues Breastaurant Chain for Discrimination

Sandra Lupo Hooters.jpg
Sandra Lupo says she was effectively let go for having a shaved head after surgery.
Sandra Lupo knew something was seriously wrong when she suddenly felt a numb, tingling sensation running along the left side of her body down to her toes. After she was admitted to the emergency room, a series of tests revealed a mass in the right side of her brain that had burst and was bleeding inside her skull. Doctors told her that without immediate surgery to remove the clot, there was a chance she could die.

Lupo, who had been a waitress at the St. Peters location of Hooters since 2005, says she called and told her bosses that she was going into brain surgery. The procedure, which required drilling holes into and opening up the skull, meant Lupo's long, dark hair would have be shaved off.

"They said, 'Don't worry about it, no big deal,'" recalls Lupo.

Sandy Lupo biker.jpg
Hooters St. Peters Myspace
Sandra Lupo in 2007.
But when Lupo returned to work about two weeks later -- her hair buzzed short and a visible scar tracing across her head -- she says her bosses suddenly changed their tune. She says they refused to allow her on the restaurant floor without a wig, effectively forcing her to quit.

Hooters of America, on the other hand, says Lupo's tale -- and her federal lawsuit -- are inaccurate and meritless.

Head over to our sister food blog Gut Check for the full story, a copy of Lupo's lawsuit and Hooters' official response.

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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13 comments
Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

awww...there's crackpot peggy. they violated no laws, crackpot. show me in the EEO guidelines where "looks" are a protected class.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

"Some people go to Hooters for food." only when everything is closed.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

so...she used her looks to get a job...then when she didn't have those looks...she's taking legal action? stay classy, ladies.

Anthony Gutierrez
Anthony Gutierrez

It is not against the law to discriminate against someone based on looks, so not sure why people are under the impression this is a violation of discrimination laws. The lawyer will argue having no hair is a disability and Hooters will argue they tried to accommodate her by asking her to wear a wig. If you do not like the fact she was fired for her looks then do not eat at Hooters.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

They could have just reinstated her hours and no one would have sued. Don't violate discrimination laws if you don't want to be sued.

Terry Burk
Terry Burk

Another bullshit lawsuit. Lawyers win again.

Katie Wohldmann
Katie Wohldmann

So because a woman had to shave her head after realizing she had a blood clot in her brain, that means she isn't pretty? You are pathetic! Wonder what your mom, sisters, aunts, female friends etc. would think of your comment.

Vickie Nuckles
Vickie Nuckles

Some people go to Hooters for food. I think it is ridiculous that she would have to give up her job because her appearance was not acceptable due to brain surgery. They should have some compassion for this girl!!!

Robert A. West
Robert A. West

If they apply their policy equally, then it's not discrimination, unless their policies are limiting the rights of one of those protected classes (gender, race, creed, etc.) From what I've heard their employee handbook lays out some pretty ridiculous, but not unclear and not illegal, standards for employee appearance.

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