In 2010 Chastity Jones was offered a job by Catastrophe Management Solutions (CMS) in Mobile, Alabama. According to Chastity, her job offer was reneged after she refused to change her hairstyle to something other than the dreadlocks in her hair.
Apparently the human resources manager would not bring Chastity on board as long as she had dreadlocks, and told her that dreadlocks “tend to get messy, although I’m not saying yours are, but you know what I’m talking about.”
Chastity then took it upon herself to go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who then filed a lawsuit agains CMS on her behalf, claiming that the company violated the Civil Rights Act of Title VII.
The EEOC stood by their belief that withdrawing her job offer because of her hairstyle was considered racial discrimination because dreadlocks are used to stereotype African Americans, and that “dreadlocks are a manner of wearing the hair that is physiologically and culturally associated with people of African descent.”
On September 15th, the appeal court ruled against EEOC and favored CMS’s decision to withdraw their employment contract, stating that this incident was non discriminatory because while her hairstyle is “culturally associated with race” it is an “immutable physical characteristic.”
What this means is that just because certain aspects of a persons “look” represents their culture, it does not protect them from being denied job offers if the “look” is changeable.
I was quite taken back by this. What are your thoughts on the appeal courts decision Roommates?
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