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Coffee chain in hot water over pixie cut firing

Nov 16,2018
Coffee shop franchise Yogerpresso has come under fire after a store owner dismissed a part-timer on her first day for arriving with no makeup on and her hair cut short.

The brand’s headquarters immediately apologized on Tuesday, a few days after the event, and promised to take preventive measures in the future.

According to a complaint that the fired part-timer submitted on Yogerpresso’s official website, she was laid off five minutes after entering the store on her first day of work on Nov. 10.

Three days before, she had come to the job interview with longer hair and was told to start working that day. Between her interview and her first day at work, the part-timer had her hair cut into a shorter pixie cut.

“[The owner] said this is a store that sells food and you should be more neatly prepared,” she wrote in her complaint, adding that she was scolded for cutting her hair short and appearing with no makeup “as if [the way a woman dressed] was a necessary factor for work.”

The owner told the part-timer that he would behave the same to all employees, regardless of gender, adding that he would make a male worker cut his hair if it was too long and take off accessories.

The fired part-timer argued that the owner required her to have long hair because she was a woman. She asked the company to apologize and re-educate franchise owners.

After confirming the facts, Yogerpresso released an official apology on Tuesday.

“We thank [the part-timer] who took the courage to share her unjust case,” the company said in a statement uploaded on the official website.

It later added in another statement on Wednesday that the franchise owner and headquarters apologized to the part-timer and offered compensation, which she received.

The coffee chain promised to add relevant clauses to its manual for human resources management and require franchisees to take courses on gender discrimination. It also promised to conduct an investigation into the management of the store and decide how to penalize him.

“The case made us feel deep responsibility,” Yogerpresso said in a statement. “We promise to work more on managing franchises to prevent such incidents in the future.”


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]