Stacey Fearnell, 36, is a waitress at Nathaniel’s restaurant in Owen Sound, Ontario. When her friend was battling cancer, she wanted to show support for her friend, so she shaved her head to raise money for a cancer charity. She lost her father to cancer, so she wanted to do her part.
Fearnell raised more than $2,700 for the “Cops for Cancer” charity, a local fundraiser for cancer research.
She was happy with the outcome but when she went back to work earlier this week at Nathaniel’s, her bosses sent her back home and told her that she wasn’t welcome back to the restaurant. Fearnell told CBC News
that she told her boss what she was planning to do before she shaved her head, but apparently he didn’t listen.
Her boss told Fearnell:
We'll call it a layoff…Spend the summer with your kids.
Nathaniel’s owner and Chef Dan Hilliard issued a statement in response late Thursday and said Fearnell did not advise him about shaving her head for charity.
Even if she didn’t say this to him, at least he should know why she did it and should have taken her back but Nathaniel’s are not doing that. The community is already angry with the restaurant. Local Mandi Lee said the following:
I have worked for fine dining restaurants before and have never heard of someone with a bald head not being able to be a server. Does this mean that bald men shouldn't serve?
Another local, George Brechin told CBC News: "You have to express yourself with your wallet…I won't be eating there in the future."
Rowena Pinto, spokeswoman for the Canadian Cancer Society told CBC News, is also outraged by Nathaniel’s’ decision and she has never heard of such an incident before that one gets fired for a social cause "We want to underline that it's supporters like Stacey that enable us to carry out our mission."
Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission said Stacey can sue Nathaniel’s for gender discrimination, since bald men work at restaurants. But Stacey has no plans to sue Nathaniel's.
"I think it's for a good cause…It's not hurting anybody and it doesn't affect my ability to work."
Stacey found a new part-time job, her boss loves her new look and has even given her extra hours to work.