An employee was denied employment after she refused to cut off her dreadlocks. The company said her hair violated the company’s grooming policy. The EEOC said it was racial bias.
Chastity Jones applied online for a job at Catastrophe Management Solutions. She is an African-American female with dreadlocked curls. She was selected to join a group interview in Catastrophe’s offices where she was offered employment as a customer services representative. However, when the HR person met with her later, Ms. Jones was informed that the company did not allow dreadlocks. Catastrophe has a grooming policy that requires its employees to dress in a professional and business-like image. Ms. Jones refused to cut them off and the job offer was rescinded.
The EEOC has brought suit on Ms. Jones’ behalf, claiming that banning dreadlocks constituted race discrimination. The EEOC has stated its litigation is not about the policies that require professional grooming, rather “it focuses on the racial bias that may occur when specific hair constructs and styles are singled out for different treatment because they do not conform to normative standards for other races.”