Nathaniel’s restaurant in Owen Sound, Ontario laid off one of their employees because she donated her hair to raise money for cancer research and won’t wear a wig to cover her new haircut. The restaurant owner says he realizes that it’s not good PR for the restaurant, but claims to have heard from customers who would have been “appalled” to be served by a waitress with a buzz cut. We think she looks cute. [CTV](Thanks, Karan!!)


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  1. Bladefist says:

    Lame. I used to go to this breakfast place downtown KC, and was always served by a she-male. Or a He-she, I dunno what it/he/she was. But the food was good, service was good, who cares.

  2. opsomath says:

    I love the people who would have been “appalled” to be served by her. I personally think the word appalled applies to serial killers, people who spray paint kittens, dump babies in dumpsters, that kind of thing. Not people that cut their hair short…to help cancer victims.

  3. Sugarless says:

    So it is more important that she have hair than provide good service?

    This is not a restaurant I would visit.

  4. humphrmi says:

    The next time I’m in Owen Sound, Ontario I’m not eating at Nathaniel’s restaurant.

  5. DashTheHand says:

    Although what the restaurant did was wrong by firing her, there are also rules in hospitality jobs in which appearance is a required necessity. I know that my friend wasn’t allowed to have any visible tattoos so he had to wear long sleeves as a waiter. There were also no “exotic” hair styles allowed, such as irregular coloring or cuts (such as a mohawk or half shaved head).

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Well, there is no such thing as bad publicity…right? O_o

  7. gqcarrick says:

    All the bad publicity will come back to bite that restaurant. What she did is a very good thing and instead of the customers possibly being “appalled”, they should be cheering her for doing such a thing.

  8. girly says:

    This restaurant didn’t work hard enough to try to compromise with her. []

  9. Youthier says:

    @CreoleSugar: One would think it would be better to not have hair… less risk of it ending up in your food.

  10. hi says:

    Time to get out that sign that says “I was laid off from this restaurant for cutting my hair to raise money for cancer victoms”.

  11. girly says:

    @Youthier: well actually she’s going to shed hair anyway, at least if it was longer you could find it

  12. What the hell is wrong with people?

  13. hi says:

    Can we post their number? Nathaniel’s Restaurant (519) 371-3440 in case someone wants take-out?

  14. LorneReams says:

    Another missed opportunity by a business. They could have put up signs, before and after pictures, and marketed the hell out of the fact that one of their employees did this…instead they take the mentally deficient route. Lack of imagination kills businesses.

  15. Nighthawke says:

    We’ll see who the complainant is here soon enough. They will be the only ones in the place during lunch hour.

    That joint just folded without knowing it.

  16. girly says:

    @LorneReams: yeah they definitely jumped too firing for no good reason!

  17. @DashTheHand: @girly: They didn’t actually “FIRE” her. She’s still on the payroll, but they told her they didn’t need her until after the summer, when presumably her hair grows back to the standards set forth by her boss.

    What is truly funny is if she went bald due to cancer, in the US at least, she couldn’t be laid off b/c of our extensive laws. Suck that US bashers!

  18. Violation of a dress code is grounds for dismissal.

    Sorry. No story. Let’s move along.

  19. friendlynerd says:

    Congratulations, you just put yourselves out of business.

  20. godlyfrog says:

    Strange. The title of the article says she was fired, but the content of the article says she’s still on the payroll, just being asked not to come in until her hair grows back. The owners also had a pre-defined rule of appearance for the establishment, and had noted their displeasure at the idea.

    Don’t get me wrong, she did it for a noble cause, but what does she expect? That the restaurant should give up its rules for her? Does she expect that the people eating there are going to know that she shaved her head for cancer and not because she’s a neo-nazi skinhead that the restaurant has no problem hiring?

    This is a classic example of action and consequence. She was told beforehand that the owners wouldn’t like it, and you can’t tell me she didn’t know about the standards of appearance. She was offered a compromise in the form of a wig, but she refused. Now she still has a job there once her hair grows back, and she’s acting indignant, like her rights were violated in some fashion. The restaurant is bending over backwards here, and she’s expecting them to stake their reputation on her actions as well.

    Some people give their lives to charity, and you’d never know it, because they don’t brag about it. This woman is doing the opposite. She wants everyone to see that she shaved her head, and even this news story is proof that she wants the world to see. She is expecting society to conform to her being different without understanding that by choosing to be different, society is going to look at her differently, good or bad, right or wrong.

  21. friendlynerd says:

    1. Did that dress code clearly say how long a woman’s hair had to be? 2. Is that even legal? 3. Are you an asshole?

  22. Jabberkaty says:

    Gah! Would they put up a stink about someone wearing a wig who HAS cancer? And having a buzz cut is only being considered extreme because she isn’t fitting the image of a typical woman. Guys have buzz-cuts and shaved heads, and longish hair – it’s silly she can’t have short-short hair.

    *makes a mental note to go hug mom-in-law for no good reason*

  23. evslin says:

    @LorneReams: Absolutely. I donated a head full of hair to charity last summer and the response from everybody I talked to was overwhelmingly positive. I still have people asking me to this day if I’m going to grow my hair back out so I can repeat the process.

    Epic fail on the restaurant’s part for missing out on this.

  24. gqcarrick says:

    @friendlynerd: 1. Probably not 2. Probably not 3. Sure sounds like he is.

  25. catskyfire says:

    The interesting thing is, nobody would raise an eyebrow if it was a male with that haircut.

  26. opsomath says:

    @godlyfrog: Yeah, if I had been told I couldn’t do this, I’d have been pissed too. In fact, I might have gone ahead and done it, taken the consequences, and allowed the horrible publicity to avenge me. Looks like this lady and I might have had something in common.

    @Corporate-Shill: Yes, because rules never have exceptions. I mean, after all, they’re the rules!

  27. ConRoo says:

    @godlyfrog: Great response! To add too this, If you want to donate hair, grow it long enough that your head doesn’t need to be shaved. I believe the donated locks must be at least 12″ long. So, don’t donate until you have enough to get it cut while still having enough to fit your job requirements.

  28. Jetgirly says:

    @Corporate-Shill: But doesn’t the employer have to make the dress code, and the consequences for violating it, clear? It sounds like they just said, “We will be displeased if you shave your head.” From my experience working for small businesses in retail and food services (in Canada), rules and regulations are rarely actually in writing and management isn’t usually too keen on doing things like setting minimum lengths for hair until after employees get their hair cut.

  29. goodywitch says:

    @ConRoo: 10″ is the minimum, acc’d to Lock of Love. It helps to leave a little for styling the remnants.

  30. henwy says:

    @ Jetgirly: It’s usually in the documentation you get when you get the job. Most people don’t really read it, for obvious reasons, but most places will pass it out as a CYA measure. It’s been upheld by the courts in the past that it’s perfectly okay to dismiss someone whose appearance or actions affect their job and part of the job of a server is public relations. After all, you wouldn’t argue that canning someone who had their face tattooed was verbotten, right? What if it was tattooed with a swastika a la chucky manson?

  31. SonicMan says:

    So, they do not like the new look, so they tell her to go home for the summer WHILE STILL PAYING HER, and she still moans about it.

    This is a private business. IF they have an image they want there employees to have, thats that.

  32. LorneReams says:

    @SonicMan: I took it to mean they just put he on a leave of absence without removing her from the payroll system. I don’t think they are paying her.

  33. Sugarless says:

    @DashTheHand: I worked in some really nice restaurants waiting tables. There were rules about tats and piercings once both became more mainstream – both are expressions of individualism.

    Donating your hair to charity is not an expression of individualism and should not be treated as such. This restaurant made a dumb decision.

  34. Mary says:

    @Jetgirly: I don’t know about Canada, but I’m pretty sure in my neck of the woods an employer does have to clearly state the dress code, provide the clearly stated dress code.

    I know at my job we get it sent out to us every once in a while as a reminder, or if it changes even slightly.

    I’d wager there’s nothing in it about short hair, simply that on men it can’t be longer than their collars.

  35. Eilonwynn says:

    @SonicMan: They’re not still paying her, she’s still on the payroll – big difference. You can be on a payroll without receiving any money at all.

  36. BlackFlag55 says:

    Sweet crock of festering lamebrains … this guy needs a course in proactive public relations. MAKE A HERO OUT OF HER you effing idiot, not an embarrassment.

  37. mikelotus says:

    i find women that shave their heads, like sinead o’connor, to be sexy.

  38. Narockstar says:

    @ConRoo: Hair has a natural stopping point for growth. Not everyone can grow hair to their waist. I wanted to donate my hair at my last haircut, but I couldn’t grow it long enough without having to have shaved it all off. So good for her for making the sacrifice!

    Those customers who were “appalled” are idiot snobs. I remember when I was in college and got my nose pierced. There were these two old birds who refused to allow me to wait on them, going so far as to avoid looking at me while refusing my service, just to let me know how horrible I was. But the next week, they were positively charming because I had removed the piercing for work and they didn’t remember that I was the same person.

  39. Karyuu says:

    I’d like to see what’s in their dress code about women’s hair. This is pretty stupid – as other commenters here already mentioned, no one would think twice about this cut on a man. What kind of stupid is breeding in their portion of the world that people would be ‘appalled’ at a woman without typical picture-esque locks?

    Shame on them, and good for her.

  40. ThinkerTDM says:

    Did she actually violate a dress code? It’s pretty ridiculous that having long hair is a requirement for women at this place. Did they ask her to wear a little more makeup and heels? And try to be more feminine?
    I thought we were a long way from the days where a women’s only asset was to look attractive in a skirt.

  41. Gopher bond says:

    Jeez, it’s not even shaved bald, it looks about 1/4″ clippers. And people are “appalled”? Take the stick out of your rectums. I support the restaurant’s right to set some appearance standards but I would also no longer eat at this restaurant. These things are not mutually exclusive. Yes, the woman should have to deal with the repercussion and yes, so should the restaurant.

  42. godlyfrog says:

    @ConRoo: I gathered from the article that she shaved her head for charity, not donated the hair. She gathered pledges from people who would donate if she shaved her head, then shaved it.

    @opsomath: I think it’s OK for her to be proud of it, I just don’t think she should expect everyone else around her to conform to it, which is what she’s expecting. She’s expecting everyone to recognize that it was shaved for charity. She’s expecting the restaurant to risk its reputation on her choice. And now she’s expecting the public to get even with those who didn’t conform to her choice. We know most of the facts, and knowing this, we side with her because we think she was wronged, but customers looking in the window don’t know these facts just by looking; they see a woman with a shaved head, and their minds make assumptions from there.

    Even the suggestion that someone made above to advertise the heck out of it is work that the restaurant needs to do to correct a situation that they didn’t create. Also, since it would have been done prior to this news posting explaining the whole situation, would have been rather tacky for a business unrelated to the charity drive to be using someone who shaved their head for charity as advertising, and we’d probably be commenting on a completely different news item right now.

    The long and short of it is that this woman shaved her head and expected that she wouldn’t have to do anything more, when the truth is that she should have expected and planned for a modicum of change until her hair grew back.

  43. mac-phisto says:

    & this is where you want to read about one of those great stories of human solidarity where all of her co-workers go out & shave their heads.

    sadly, few of us are not that unselfish.

  44. pengie says:

    @Jabberkaty: Exactly what I came here to say. What if she was the one who had cancer and had shaved her head while undegoing chemo, or was otherwise losing her hair?

    I can understand dress codes, but this is ridiculous. I hope she’s offered a job at another restaurant–I’m sure there will be many happy to take her.

  45. drdom says:

    WTF? First, what kind of ass clown would complain about her haircut. What’s wrong with these people. It’s a haircut. Get over it. It’s not like she has piercings in her cheeks, lips, nose etc.

    Second, in a way, it’s kind of cute.

    I’d still hit that.

    My bet is with the publicity this is generating, she’ll get an offer for a better job anyway.

  46. gig says:

    I donated my long hair last year to “locks of love” for cancer victims. Shaving was not necessary though. They just gave me a really short (and cute) hair cut. Maybe she shaved to call attention to the cause and it really is a great cause. If she had just gotten a short cut like most everyone does, no one would know she donated. I don’t know why she chose to shave. But I still think she did a great thing and she should be allowed to work.

  47. Juggernaut says:

    Sharon Stone “karma” would have the restaurant burn down or the owner get cancer…

  48. gqcarrick says:

    I am sure customers would have asked her why she cut her hair so short and when she told them they would have thought it was a very good and caring reason why she did it.

  49. CyGuy says:

    having spent a long time in the Restaurant industry, I’d like to note a key point left out of Consumerist’s write-up. Not only was it a cancer charity, it was charity called “Cops for Cancer.”

    Because cops spend much of their working day (or evening in the case of the night shift) out in the public, they are a significant demographic for restaurants. Restaurants will typically go out of their way to cater to cops, almost always providing them free coffee. If there is one group you don’t want to lose as part of your customer base, it’s cops because they deter crime, and if you serve alcohol they could quickly become your worst enemy by pulling over every patron leaving your establishment heading for the parking lot.

  50. Mary says:

    @godlyfrog: “but customers looking in the window don’t know these facts just by looking; they see a woman with a shaved head, and their minds make assumptions from there.”

    I think most people’s points is that those assumptions are so much b.s.

    I know that’s what I think. If you’re going to judge somebody based on their haircut, then really, why bother leaving home?

  51. Me. says:

    I was working as a beer cart girl at a golf course when I got diagnosed with cancer. I wore a wig through treatments while at work, but once my hair hit about 2″ long, I ditched the wigs.

    Aside from the ONE golfer who said I got a boy haircut, no one has said anything and my tips haven’t been affected (which would surely be the first sign of disapproval from golfers!)

    I understand where the boss is coming from, but I think he’s looking too far into things….

  52. Mr. Gunn says:

    You would think that, wouldn’t you, Meg?

  53. snakeskin33 says:

    The legality, to me, is not really the point. Employers have broad discretion to hire and fire, much more than people usually think. In many cases, employers can fire you for absolutely no reason at all, or because they don’t care for your hair, or because they dislike you personally.

    Nevertheless, this is flat-out idiotic if it happened as described. The point isn’t whether you CAN fire her; the point is whether it makes any freaking SENSE to fire her. I think employers have been brainwashed to believe that if they deviate for any reason from any rule for even a moment, they will be immediately ruined.

    So they do things like this, and this is what ruins them. They probably still have time to take it back, hold a charity benefit, admit their mistake, and come out ahead. But if they don’t hurry, this could easily wind up as one of history’s great cases of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Stupid, stupid.

  54. S-the-K says:

    Are you sure this isn’t an article from The Onion? We’re talking Canada, right? A country where you can marry anyone or anything you want and get full government benefits and protection? A country with even more lax immigration policies than the U.S.? I would think that nothing short of spray painting kittens would not raise an eyebrow in Canada.

    Even if some nitwit was uncomfortable with a woman with a buzz cut — maybe they had a bad experience at a showing of “G.I. Jane” — surely when it was explained that it was for a good charitable cause they would understand. Or maybe Canadians, due to their dependence on government services, have no concept of personal individual charitable behavior?

  55. megafly says:

    This is clearly Sex Discrimination. If they would fire a man for having that haircut then they have a case. Otherwise…

  56. mrearly2 says:

    The waitress could have saved herself some trouble: The cancer industry is big business, preying upon the ignorant and the sick, when there are cures for cancer.