Can your boss tell you how to wear your hair?

Ashley Davis says her employer said she needed to get rid of her dreadlocks or she’d be fired. Farryn Johnson got in trouble at work when she added blonde highlights — the company said that violated policy because blonde highlights aren’t natural for a black woman. And Christopher Abbey was fired for refusing to cut his hair. But here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued on his behalf, and Abbey won a settlement of $27,000. Why did he have a case when the others didn’t?

Religion. Abbey is a Nazirite whose religion prohibits him from cutting his hair. So, he doesn’t. And his employer lost the lawsuit because this was a case of religious discrimination. Companies are required to make accommodations for people’s religious beliefs as long as they are “reasonable.”

To keep reading, click here: Can your boss tell you how to wear your hair?

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5 thoughts on “Can your boss tell you how to wear your hair?

  1. Based off the comments in this article, I just googled Koteka at work… wow was that a surprise! HA!

    1. Oh dear! Well, I’ve learned something new, and also learned that I need to set my internet filters a little higher.

      (Note to my other readers: Do not do an image search on this. Just don’t. You have been warned.)

  2. I think it’s hard to make sweeping judgements. Generally we should have the right to wear our hair the way we choose, however in work there often other factors to take into consideration. Safety being one of them. We must also consider presentation in service industries etc, . .

  3. Blonde highlights are neither a safety nor a presentation issue.

    Also, I don’t understand why that wasn’t a race discrimination case.

  4. I can’t speak on behalf of anyone specifically and this is my own personal view but if safety is a factor then yes, I think the employer should be able to dictate e.g. long hair getting caught in machines.

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