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Stylist sues salon for discrimination

May 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM

NEW YORK, May 3 (UPI) -- A former hair stylist at one of New York's priciest salons is suing for discrimination, after allegedly being called "blackie" and "slave."

Zandra Bennett is suing Orlo, a high-profile salon where stars such as Jennifer Connelly, Kirsten Dunst and Naomi Campbell pay $800 a haircut.

Court papers show Bennett started as an assistant in April 2010 and was promoted to stylist five months later. She alleges up until her firing in January 2011, owner George Casson and receptionist Alfred Malavo repeatedly harassed her on the basis of her race, New York Daily News reported.

Casson allegedly insulted Bennett for bringing in black and Latin-American clients as opposed to white ones, telling her "black hair doesn't pay the bills here," the suit said. He is accused of telling black clients Bennett "doesn't know how to do white hair," and called Bennett's hair "nappy."

Malavo is accused of calling Bennett racial slurs, including "blackie" and "slave."

In January 2011, Bennett was hospitalized for job-related stress. It was then Casson fired her by text message, the Daily News said.

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