Abercrombie employee says good deed causing problems

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT GUEST

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- A San Marcos teenager says her good deed caused problems at work.

Alejandra Velasquez Ramos, 18, works for the Abercrombie Kids Outlet in San Marcos. She says she shaved her head for a good cause, and it caused an unexpected controversy at work.

Like many teenage girls, Ramos has lots of clothes.

"I wear a lot of Abercrombie," she said. "I'm still a girl, I love to shop."

She also loved her long, dark brown hair. So when she decided to shave her head and donate her hair to Locks of Love, her mother Gloria was surprised.

"I was shocked. I was. It was like 'What did you do that for?'" her mother said.

It not only shocked her mother, but her employer.

"They do have a strict look policy," Ramos said.

Ramos took the job at Abercrombie to save money for college.

"I felt like I knew what I was getting into. I know what the company is like. I've read through the look policy," Ramos said. "We even have a chart that tells you how to wear your hair. It will tell you all the hairs that don't belong, all the hairs you can have, but it never -- it never included or excluded anything like this."

She says before she cut her hair, she worked about 40 hours a week. Last week she claims managers sent her home early because they needed to find a new position for her. Ramos says, most likely, she will be working in the stock room.

"They said, 'Just take the day off, take the week off.' I was like 'OK.' So it is a little upsetting still," she said.

"That day when she called me to pick her up from work I was mad. I was upset," said Gloria. "She looks like this by choice, but a lot of people don't look like that by choice. What's the statement they're sending out? If they want to put her behind the walls so the public does not see her what is so wrong about it?"

Gloria is a proud parent, maybe even more so now.

"She was not even thinking of how she looked. She didn't care how she looked. It was how important it was for her to be able to do something for someone else. That says a lot from her. She's my daughter. She's just as beautiful with or without hair."

Ramos says despite the setbacks at work, she doesn't regret her decision.

"I know shaving my head was a little bit on the extreme, but it's just, it's opened my eyes a lot," Ramos said.

KVUE's calls and emails to Abercrombie's corporate office have not been returned yet, but Ramos says she did receive a call from the store late Wednesday afternoon saying they've decided to let her keep her job working in the front of the store.

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