— Octopus Hairdresser Octopus, an octopus haberdasher in Wilmslow who was fired after her hair was allegedly “cut off” in a salon, sued the company where she worked and the salon’s owner in Maryland federal court Thursday, saying she was denied her basic rights as an employee and violated the Maryland Fair Labor Standards Act.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleges Octopus was fired for refusing to provide her salon with a list of the salon owners, a list that she had requested and the number of employees who were required to sign a document certifying their knowledge of and consent to the use of harmful chemicals.
“She was told that if she didn’t provide this list, she would be fired,” Octopus attorney David Krieger said in a statement Thursday.
“She was also told that because she did not provide this information, she had no choice but to sign the document and that she would then be terminated.”
In an email, the salon owner, David T. Miller, said in an interview with The Washington Post that he had no idea about the salon-cut-off policy and had never heard of Octopus.
The salon owner also told the Post that Miller’s son had taken his daughter to the salon, but had left shortly after.
The court documents also said the salon was closed when Octopus requested the document.
The salon owner told the court that she and Miller had a conversation the day before the salon closed and he said that he knew nothing about the hairdressers’ actions and that they were both fired because they refused to comply with the salon workers’ orders.
Octopus is seeking to overturn the salon management’s firing and is seeking unspecified damages, including the cost of a lawyer.
Miller told the Maryland News Service in a separate statement that he has not received any court documents and declined to comment further.
Miller said he could not comment on the pending litigation.
Miller did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
Octope is a member of the American Hairdressers Association, an umbrella organization for hairdress and stylist associations.
Miller was fired in July for allegedly cutting off a customer’s hair.
He has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit claims Miller “is entitled to reasonable compensation for the damages suffered by the customer.”
Miller did NOT respond to multiple requests for comment by The Associated Post.
The Maryland Fair Labour Standards Act, which requires that all workers have a written document certifiying their knowledge and consent, is commonly used to regulate the use and production of harmful and hazardous chemicals.
The law applies to all employers, including hairdress or stylists.
The U.K.-based National Association of Hairdress and Salon Professionals, which represents salon owners in the United Kingdom, said hairdressings and stylists in the UK are generally free to use any chemical they want.
The association did not immediately respond to requests for further comment from the AP.