Can A Company Tell Employees How To Wear Their Hair?


Janice Gassam | Forbes

Hair discrimination: it’s a very real issue that many Black people have continued to experience in the workplace. Within the last few decades, there have been a number of cases where Black people have been discriminated against for wearing traditional Black hairstyles. In the 1980s, Cheryl Tatum, a restaurant cashier at the Hyatt hotel, was fired for wearing her hair in braids. In 1999, FedEx fired seven couriers because they refused to change their dreadlock hairstyle. The couriers were members of the Rastafarian faith and many who practice the religion believe it is against the faith to cut their hair. In 2013, one woman was even fired from her server job at Hooters because of her blonde highlights. Her manager claimed, “Black women don’t have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out.” Just last month, a woman named Aireial Mack claims her workplace fired her because of her hair. Mack was an employee at an LA Fitness in Slidell, Louisiana, and indicates she was told by her supervisor that her hairstyle, which happened to be an afro, was not up to company standards.

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