Prohibiting Dreadlocks Is Not Racial Discrimination: EEOC New York

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that a company’s grooming policy prohibiting dreadlocks was not racial discrimination under federal employment law. In EEOC v. Castastophe Management Solutions, a female job seeker responded to an ad for a sales job. The applicant was qualified and interviewed well.  However, as a condition to hiring her, the business requested that she change her hairstyle from dreadlocks to a “professional-looking” haircut because part of her job duties would be selling the business to the public.  The job seeker refused and contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating that the business discriminated against her on the basis of her race. T he EEOC then brought a claim for intentional racial discrimination. The EEOC argued that prohibition of dreadlocks in the workplace constitutes race discrimination because dreadlocks are a manner of wearing hair that is physiologically and culturally associated with people

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