Woman told she was too big to get a pedicure

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) – A Houston woman said a nail salon discriminated against her by refusing to give her a pedicure.

Tina Lewis said a salon employee told her she was too heavy. The employee said she was afraid Lewis would break the chair.

“I get my nails and my toes done every two weeks, and I’ve never had a problem like that,” Lewis said.

Lewis said she is a confident woman who loves herself just the way she is.

“Someone needs to go down there and let them know that if they do have requirements, that they need to be posted on the door,” she said.

Lewis claims she was denied a pedicure at the Rose Nails salon because of her weight.

"And I was like, ‘Are you serious? So you’re saying that I'm too big to sit in a chair?’" Lewis said.

The shop’s security cameras captured the interaction Thursday afternoon. Marie Bui, an employee at the salon, said she told Lewis she couldn’t give her a pedicure because the spa chair is “very small.”

Bui said she didn’t mean to sound rude or mean. She claims the shop already has a broken chair, which the salon employees believe was caused by a previous customer who was overweight.

When asked for his input on whether the salon’s actions were legal, attorney Steve Shellist said heavy people are not protected under the law like race or gender, and in this case the business can legally refuse service.

Lewis said the situation should have been handled better, and that she will not be back to the shop.

"It was, like, very disrespectful,” she said. “To me, I felt like it was discrimination."

The owner of the nail salon said a chair costs a few hundred dollars, and they can’t afford repairs, so they have to run the business accordingly.

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