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Woman says she lost job after shaving head for sister

baldhead

A Spokane, Washington-area woman says she was forced to quit her job as a hair salon supervisor after her boss told her to cover her shaved head while at work.

Melanie Strandberg has worked as a hair stylist for more than eight years, most recently at the La Rive Salon and Spa inside the Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights.

She says recently she decided to shave her head in support of her sister, Marisa Lowe, who’s about to start her second round of chemotherapy. Strandberg says this isn’t the first time she’s done something like this for her sister. She says her sister originally learned last year that she had stage three  ovarian cancer and during her first round of chemotherapy lost all her hair.

Strandberg says last week she was forced to write a resignation letter to her manager at La Rive.

She says after showing up to work with her head shaved, she was told by management that she had to wear a wig because being bald may make guests uncomfortable. That’s when Strandberg says she chose to leave her job.

She says she doesn’t feel she should hide the fact that she’s supporting her sister and others who are going through cancer treatment.

The General Manager of Northern Quest Resort and Casino has issued a statement. Phil Haugen says his company is taking Strandberg’s allegations very seriously and that they are inconsistent with the company’s values and culture. Haugen says the company is conducting an internal investigation. He says the company prides itself on celebrating diversity and have always honored an employee’s choice to shave his or her head in support of a friend or loved one who is battling cancer.

 

10 comments

  • David Smith

    I don't think its right she lost her job because she was standing up to show her sister she cared and loved her I have a sister who went thru that and it really hurts to see them like that and when we stand beside them this is what happens bullcrap its time to make these companies learn what the art of respect is.

  • Tom Huber

    I certainly agree with David. I've had 3 family members who went through cancer, standing by their side is something I did, and would do again for anyone who is going through it. Some people care only about money it seems. It's a sad thing to value something else over a human life!!

  • joyce wilson

    So sad! She is concerned about her sister and now needs a job.. I totally agree with her. I am a hairdresser and owner of a beauty shop and I would do the same. If my clients didn't understand too bad. Most all would be understanding and support me!!! Its not always about money! HOW HEARTLESS

  • Northern Quest

    Late in the day on Thursday, June 13, one of our team members, Melanie Strandberg, resigned, saying that she was asked to wear a wig after shaving her head in support of her sister, who has cancer.

    We are very concerned about what Melanie reported about her experience as it would be inconsistent with our values and culture, and it’s unacceptable. Right now we’re conducting a thorough internal examination to find out exactly what happened. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with Melanie and have made that offer to her repeatedly.

    To be clear, Northern Quest does not have a policy that prohibits team members from shaving their heads. And there is NO policy that requires someone with a shaved head to wear a wig. Over the years we have had other team members who have undergone treatment for cancer and other team members who have shaved their heads in support of family or friends.

    Melanie’s job is still here for her. We recognize this is an emotional and stressful situation for her and her family. We want her to know that we hope she will choose to stay on as a member of the Northern Quest team.

  • Northern Quest

    Late in the day on Thursday, June 13, one of our team members, Melanie Strandberg, resigned, saying that she was asked to wear a wig after shaving her head in support of her sister, who has cancer.

    We are very concerned about what Melanie reported about her experience as it would be inconsistent with our values and culture, and it’s unacceptable. Right now we’re conducting a thorough internal examination to find out exactly what happened. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with Melanie and have made that offer to her repeatedly.

    To be clear, Northern Quest does not have a policy that prohibits team members from shaving their heads. And there is NO policy that requires someone with a shaved head to wear a wig. Over the years we have had other team members who have undergone treatment for cancer and other team members who have shaved their heads in support of family or friends.

    Melanie’s job is still here for her. We recognize this is an emotional and stressful situation for her and her family. We want her to know that we hope she will choose to stay on as a member of the Northern Quest team.

  • Northern_Quest

    Late in the day on Thursday, June 13, one of our team members, Melanie Strandberg, resigned, saying that she was asked to wear a wig after shaving her head in support of her sister, who has cancer.

    We are very concerned about what Melanie reported about her experience as it would be inconsistent with our values and culture, and it’s unacceptable. Right now we’re conducting a thorough internal examination to find out exactly what happened. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with Melanie and have made that offer to her repeatedly.

    To be clear, Northern Quest does not have a policy that prohibits team members from shaving their heads. And there is NO policy that requires someone with a shaved head to wear a wig. Over the years we have had other team members who have undergone treatment for cancer and other team members who have shaved their heads in support of family or friends.

    Melanie’s job is still here for her. We recognize this is an emotional and stressful situation for her and her family. We want her to know that we hope she will choose to stay on as a member of the Northern Quest team.

  • Northern_Quest

    Thank you for your concern. We want you to know that we have had many team members who have gone through treatment for cancer, and others who have shaved their heads in support of family or friends. We don’t have a policy against team members shaving their heads, or a policy that says someone with a shaved head has to wear a wig. Please know that this case does not reflect our values and culture, which is why we are talking to everyone in the department and going through a thorough investigation to find out what happened. Unfortunately, Melanie resigned before anyone in our human resources department or on our management team could address the issue. We’d really like to talk to Melanie, and want to make it clear that her job here is still here for her.

  • NQRC Communications

    As you know, we’ve been working through a situation involving a team member, Melanie Strandberg, who quit her job Thursday night. We are very concerned with what Melanie reported happened to her. It is inconsistent with our values and culture and it’s unacceptable.

    Right now we’re conducting a thorough internal review to determine the facts, including talking to everyone in the department. Ideally we’d like to talk with Melanie directly as well. If we find an employee violated our policy, we will take appropriate action.

    Melanie resigned before anyone in our human resources department or on our management team were aware of what happened. We’d welcome the opportunity to talk with her and we have made that offer repeatedly.

    To be clear, Northern Quest does not have a policy that prohibits team members from shaving their heads. And there is no policy that requires someone with a shaved head to wear a wig. We have had many other team members who have undergone treatment for cancer and other team members who have shaved their heads in support of family or friends.

    We have a long standing tradition of supporting cancer organizations and causes because this issue affects us all.

    We hope Melanie will choose to stay on as a member of the Northern Quest team. Her job is here for her. Thank you for the inquiry.

Comments are closed.


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