Daniel Theriault with the pink hair that apparently got him fired at his home in Calgary, Alberta, on May 26, 2012.
Credits: MIKE DREW/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
Daniel Theriault, 24, dyed his hair bright pink this week for National Cancer Survivors Day, being held June 5, and said he was shocked when his bosses at Sleep Country Canada's distribution centre ordered him to cover it up or dye it a more "appropriate" colour.
This is the second year Theriault has dyed his hair to honour survivors of the deadly disease, including his own father, who beat lung cancer.
"I know a lot of people who have died from cancer, and I have a friend of the family who went under the knife for a type of cancer recently," he said.
"Tons of people on both sides of my family have died from all types of cancer."
A deliveryman for the last year and a half, Theriault said he was hauled into an office earlier this week and told his hair would have to be covered or changed or he'd be sent home without pay.
"Last year they made me hide it -- I would wear a hat while I was in the office," he said.
"This year I decided to stand up for myself. I didn't feel it was necessary to hide it -- this is for a good cause."
A May 24 letter signed by distribution manager Colin Campbell offered Theriault two suggestions -- wearing a hat "that conceals the majority of the hair" or changing his hair "to a more conservative business-appropriate colour."
"Should you decide not to comply, immediate suspension will occur and further disciplinary action may be taken up to and including termination," the letter warned.
The letter also stated that "responsibility for judging what is reasonable or unacceptable will lie solely in the hands of management."
Given the choice, Theriault said he decided to take the suspension but has already found a new job with a moving company, starting Monday.
Managers with Sleep Country Canada did not return calls for comment Saturday.