A former Hooters employee who was forced to quit after shaving her head for brain surgery is now suing the franchise in federal court for violating the Missouri Human Rights Act, according to court documents provided to The Huffington Post by the woman's lawyer.
Sandra Lupo waitressed at a Hooters in St. Peters, Mo., when she shaved her head in July 2012 so that a doctor could perform a craniotomy to remove a large mass on her brain, the lawsuit alleges.
As she prepared to return to work after the surgery, a Hooters regional manager allegedly told Lupo that she would have to wear a wig.
Lupo complied with her manager's request, but found the wig irritated her head wound. The court documents say she was "forced to leave work because she could not wear the wig." Hooters then allegedly cut her hours to the point where she felt she had to quit, according to the complaint.
Hooters spokesman Scott Yates emailed HuffPost on Monday to say that the company denies accusations made by Lupo and her attorney, Larry Bagsby, and "believes the lawsuit is without foundation."
The Missouri Human Rights Act prevents workplace discrimination based on disability. Lupo's lawsuit alleges that the wound from her surgery constituted a disability.
The suit also claims that Hooters forced Lupo to quit voluntarily so she would be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation.
Hooters has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Yates said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the location of the Hooters where Lupo worked.