A woman no longer has a job after her manager found out she temporarily asked men not to enter a Taylor [Michigan] hair salon while she helped a Muslim customer.
The woman, who was not identifed, left her job about a week after the incident took place. The salon’s corporate office said she had already issued notice she was leaving before the incident took place.
Photos of a sign on the window at SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, 7555 Telegraph Road, asked for “no men please,” without further explanation.
SalonStyle’s corporate office issued a short statement on the situation.
“SmartStyle welcomes all guests, and we apologize to anyone who was offended by the piece of paper taped to the salon window,” they said. “The message was inappropriate and it does not reflect our standards or beliefs; our goal is to offer a quality experience to all guests. Again, our apologies to anyone who was offended.”
While the sign was posted briefly July 10, the manager didn’t find out until about a week later. On July 25, a man posted photos of the sign online, store manager Erika Van Etten, responded to the photos. She said he called July 24, claiming that it had happened that day and gave a false name and phone number for her to contact him at to talk about the situation.
She explained that store policy is not to close the salon, or restrict access to men, even when a Muslim customer is in the store.
“We are not allowed to close the salon under any circumstances for anyone,” Van Etten wrote. “If someone has a head scarf we are to let them know that we cannot close the salon and if a man comes in we cannot stop them.”
She said the employee who posted the sign did so without approval, and no longer works at the salon.
“I was not here for this incident and this was the result of a former employee taking it upon herself to do her own thing,” Van Etten said. “I reiterate that this is a former employee that has been taken care of. As far as what happened. I apologize for anyone who gots offended by this sign however again I was not here for the incident.”
Within an hour of the photos being posted there were hundreds of online comments both complaining about the sign, and encouraging the salon for working with the customer.
Calls to the salon for further comment were not returned. A sign posted on the door of the salon Tuesday afternoon said it was closed due to short staffing, despite the manager posting on social media less than an hour earlier that they were open until 8 p.m.
The salon is located inside the Walmart at the same address.