Hooters Waitress Claims Restaurant Forced Her to Quit After Brain Surgery Made Her Less Attractive

A Hooters waitress from Missouri has filed a lawsuit against her employer for allegedly pushing her out after she underwent brain surgery that left her with a buzz cut and a sizable cranial scar.

27-year-old Sandra Lupo had been working at the same Hooters restaurant in St. Peters since 2005 when she was forced to take a few weeks off last Summer to extract a noncancerous mass that had formed on her brain.

While in hospital, Lupo says she was visited by her manager, Brent Holmberg, and assured that she still had a job, and that her cropped hair and scar would not present a problem.

However, just prior to her return, she was informed by regional manager Joe Ozment that she would be required to wear a wig while at the restaurant.

Lupo tried to accommodate Ozment's demand, but noted that the wig was interfering with the healing of her scar, and refused to wear it.

She subsequently found her hours reduced to the point where she had no choice but to tender her resignation.

Court documents show that Lupo and her lawyer are asserting that her rights were violated under the Missouri Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on disability.

But Lupo may have a hard time arguing her case against a company that relies on the sexiness of its waitstaff to sell wings.

"In the disability context," St. Louis University associate law professor Marcia McCormick told ABC News, "if Hooters is to say she's not as attractive now without this wig, if they're selling her attractiveness, that might be a real function of her job and mean she isn't qualified by the Americans With Disabilities Act."

For its part, Hooters says Lupo's claims are wholly without merit and has filed a motion to have her lawsuit dismissed.

[H/T: Eater, photos via STLtoday, Myspace, Facebook]