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  1. #1
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    Woman sues salon; says it quoted her higher, 'ethnic' service charge

    Woman sues salon; says it quoted her higher, 'ethnic' service charge

    For two years, Paulette Harris has had her hair shampooed and dried twice a month at a Hair Cuttery in Glen Burnie. Last month, when Harris, a black woman, went in for her shampoo, she said she was told the charge would be $8 more because she is "ethnic."

    "I said, 'This is ridiculous, I've never been charged extra,'" said Harris, 25, who has straight shoulder-length hair. "'You're not going to charge me more because I'm not Caucasian.'"

    She filed a $600,000 lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday against Hair Cuttery, alleging negligent hiring and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She also alleges that she was subjected to discrimination and racial slurs.

    According to the lawsuit, filed by Harris' lawyer, Barry R. Glazer, "Defendants knew, or reasonably should have known, that their employees were insensitive to persons of color and prone to make racial comments and slurs."

    On March 11, the salon tried to charge the Hanover resident $21 for what she believed was a $13 service, according to the lawsuit.

    Hair Cuttery is a walk-in unisex salon chain with 800 stores, according to its Web site.

    Mimi Ackers, spokeswoman for Ratner Cos., which owns the Hair Cuttery chain, said she could not comment on the lawsuit but added that prices are not based on ethnicity.

    "We do not discriminate based on ethnicity whatsoever," Ackers said.

    According to Harris, while she was at the salon an employee asked her to pay in advance, stating that "ethnic people have habit of being serviced and leaving without paying," the lawsuit alleges.

    Harris said in an interview yesterday that she declined to pay in advance.

    A hairstylist herself, Harris worked at the Beltway Plaza Hair Cuttery near Arbutus for about five months in 2001 and 2002. She now is a stay-at-home mother.

    On March 11, Harris said, she and her 2-year-old daughter went to the Hair Cuttery in the 6600 block of Ritchie Highway so Harris could get her hair done for a birthday party she was throwing for her 7-year-old son.

    Upon arrival in the salon, one of the hairstylists told Harris she would have to pay extra for her hair because she was "ethnic," according to the lawsuit.


    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/loc...al-pe-maryland

  2. #2
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    Well women get charged more for drycleaning their clothing than men and we also get charged more for salon treatments as well. I suppose we should all go out and sue everyone because of this? Perhaps the woman could just - and I know this is a novel idea - STOP going there!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LP Moderator
    Perhaps the woman could just - and I know this is a novel idea - STOP going there!!
    LOL ~ what fun would that be? With the 600K she can pay off her mortgage and have college funds for her kids.

    I agree though.... tooooo many frivilous lawsuits!!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casshew
    LOL ~ what fun would that be? With the 600K she can pay off her mortgage and have college funds for her kids.

    I agree though.... tooooo many frivilous lawsuits!!!!
    Yeah, well hopefully the judge will send her and her hair packing and make her cover the legal fees (ALL of them) and court costs in this case.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LP Moderator
    Yeah, well hopefully the judge will send her and her hair packing and make her cover the legal fees (ALL of them) and court costs in this case.
    As long as he doesn't give her an 'ethnic' surcharge

  6. #6
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    I am not sure I understand this? Are the above comments making fun of this lady because she should just accept that there are people who will mistreat her because she is ethnic and not make a big deal out of it? Or is it just that she is asking for too much in her lawsuit? Maybe I am misreading the intensions if so I apologize.

    If this did happen to this woman it is racism! I have been blessed to have white priviledge my whole life and I do not even want to know what it would be like for someone to pass judgement on me because of the color of my skin. I think this type of treatment is unacceptable. It is unfortunate that the person(s) in this salon was so small minded that a loyal regular customer would have to suddenly change the way she did business with them because some idiot decided she was "ethnic" and all "ethnic" people were like this.

  7. #7
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    Hi Seamless I am not really sure what it's all about... but IMO if she felt she was overcharged maybe she should get 'that' money back... and ask the salon not to do it anymore or they will lose her business.

    I personally don't feel that what happened to her is worth half a million +++ in compensation.

    Maybe her hair was difficult to style? I know they charge differently for long hair/short hair... I think it is fair to pay more if there is more work and time involved.. maybe a differenty type of conditioner or shampoo is used. There are many styling products for different types of hair.

    I went to the tanning salon before a trip to the caribbean to get some colour... the girl there said 'oh ~ you must be from england ~ you should have come much, much earlier. Sheesh - it was 5 weeks before my trip.

    Was I offended that she thought I was a sickly white? Should I have sued her? lol

  8. #8
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    I have long hair about down to the middle of my back. When I get it highlighted, they charge me extra because my hair takes longer to put in the foil and uses more time of the technician and also uses more chemicals. Now, I know absolutely nothing about "black" or "ethnic" hair, but it obviously takes more time, more chemicals, etc. so that this salon has to charge more to make it worth their time. If I can understand that my particular type of hair takes longer and thus, I must pay extra for that time, then I don't see why this woman can't understand that as well. Why MUST the race issue be the first thing that comes to the minds of some people? Moreover, why must a lawsuit be filed immediately after someone thinks they've been "wronged" in some way. If the woman didn't like the service at that salon, I'm sure there's another salon that would be delighted to have her as a customer. For her to immediatley assume that its because she's "ethic" and to file a lawsuit is ridiculous.

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    I agree LP... I think the only problem here is the person at the salon called it the wrong thing.... The person suing said the salon called it an 'ethnic surcharge' ~ it should have been called something else.

    Either way it is not worth 600,000.00 on this get rich quick scheme!!!

  10. #10
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    I think that the main issue here is that she previously had not been charged extra. Also, I would take extreme offense at being asked to pay in advance for fear I might skip out without paying. However, I don't think it is worth a lawsuit. A complaint to the manager and maybe a few free services in the future.


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    I think the judge should award her the difference in the two prices. Was it $8. Too me that is fair. If they called her ratial slurs throw in a few tens of thousands.

    It bothers me that women's disposable razors and deodorant are more expensive than mens products. So I shave my legs with men's disposable razors. I figure that will show those pink plastic razor making companies a thing or too

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LP Moderator
    Why MUST the race issue be the first thing that comes to the minds of some people?
    I hear you LP, and agree completely. I'm sick to death of hearing about it. Like Omarosa (The Apprentice) getting mad and yelling racism about Erika or whoever saying "that's the pot calling the kettle black". That is a very common saying and was NOT racism at all.

    I also agree with Arielle in that she had not been previously charged. The salon might have recently had a change in the premiums. If that is the case, then this lady should have been told up front about it when she checked in for her appointment.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casshew
    I agree LP... I think the only problem here is the person at the salon called it the wrong thing.... The person suing said the salon called it an 'ethnic surcharge' ~ it should have been called something else.

    Either way it is not worth 600,000.00 on this get rich quick scheme!!!

    I think some of that miscommunication can be chocked up to the fact that I'm not sure and maybe others are not sure what the person wanted the terminology to be. Some prefer the term "African American," some prefer "black," etc. Maybe this woman was afraid to call her the wrong thing and get in trouble for that. After all, I call black people black because I've dealt with people from all over the world and don't generally assume that a black person is "African American," when they may have never set foot on American soil. Am I to call them "African British," "African German"???

    I heard a joke once that summed it up nicely. There was a black stand up comedianne who said he was from a "bi-racial family." His mother was black and his father was African American.

    I've worked around people of every race, creed, gender and sexual orientation and I've seen racism and other discrimination and it certainly is alive and well in America; however, I think the people who constantly scream about discrimination every time the opportunity presents itself do a great disservice to those people who have genuinely suffered discrimination.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LP Moderator
    I've dealt with people from all over the world and don't generally assume that a black person is "African American," when they may have never set foot on American soil. Am I to call them "African British," "African German"???
    I have heard the term African American used for Black Canadians Maybe the American part... means North America?

    I get confused on Indian, East Indian and West Indian... West Indians being from the Caribbean who also could be African Americans.

    At any rate ~ will be interesting to see what the judge says about this case... perhaps the surcharge was inappropiately titled but from what I have read I see no racist intent.

    Speaking of which, I was walking through the cosmetic department of a department store at stopped at a counter to look in the display case, the lady behind the counter was quick to tell me those products for for "women of color" ~ I took me a minute to figure out what she meant lol

  15. #15
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    I think that if any of you who find this woman's claims of racism ridiculous should print this article and share it with someone who is a minority, preferably someone you know, and ask them how they would have felt about the situation. It is easy for people who have not lived their lives as a minority to downplay the situation of someone who has. If you are not sure of the way people prefer to be addressed when they are of a different race you should ask them.

    Quite frankly when I read that article I thought it was put there because it was unbelievable that someone would have actually said those things to a customer. I about fell out of my chair when I read the replies. I can almost, but not quite, understand your arguments about the hair comment. But when I read the comments that were made about having to pay before the service since so many "ethnic" people left without paying, I knew that the person(s) making these comments must be lacking some common social skills. Also, do not forget that the article also mentioned that other racial slurs were used. None of us were present when this occurred so I think that we should consider this when passing judgements against either of the parties involved.

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