Former waitress suing Hooters

April 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM

ST. PETERS, Mo., April 7 (UPI) -- A former Hooters waitress from Missouri is suing the restaurant, alleging she was forced to quit after she had brain surgery.

Sandra Lupo filed her lawsuit in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in February against the Hooters restaurant in St. Peters, Mo., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

The lawsuit alleges that in late June, Lupo underwent brain surgery that left her with short hair and a scar on her head.

While she was recuperating at a local hospital, her manager, Brent Holmberg, visited her in the hospital and allegedly told her she would be able to return to work at the restaurant, part of the chain known for its good-looking waitresses in figure-enhancing outfits, and would not be required to wear a wig, the lawsuit alleges.

However, the regional manager, Joe Ozment, disagreed and when Lupo returned to work on July 21 without a wig, she was told she needed to wear one, the lawsuit states.

Lupo wore a wig several times, but it was uncomfortable and interfered with the healing of her scar, Lupo's lawyer, Larry Bagsby, said.

The restaurant then cut Lupo's hours until she was forced to quit, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges Hooters violated Missouri's Human Rights Act by discriminating against someone with both an actual and perceived disability, as well as the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, alleging Hooters regularly reduces its employees' hours to force them to quit. Lupo is seeking unspecified damages.

Hooters has not commented on the lawsuit, but has filed a motion to have it dismissed.

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