Black Woman Who Lost Her Job Because of Her Locks Has Petitioned the Supreme Court to Look at Her Case
Mobile, AL — Chastity Jones is an African American woman who lost her job offer after refusing to cut her locks. The racial discrimination lawsuit she filed against the company was dismissed by the district court, but she is now trying to take her case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2010, Jones was offered a job as a customer service representative at Catastrophe Management Solutions, an Alabama-based claim processing company. On the interview, Jones was wearing business suit and pumps, and her hair in short natural dreadlocks.
The company’s HR manager then told her that wearing dreadlocks violate their company’s grooming policy as it “tend to get messy.” When Jones refused to cut her locks, the job offer was canceled.
In 2013, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a racial discrimination lawsuit claiming that the company denied Jones to get the job because of the unlawful racial bias that African American hair is naturally unprofessional.
The company, however, said that the decision was based on their policy, not on racial bias. The federal court district also rejected the claim, saying that racial discrimination must show bias from natural traits such as skin color and hairstyle is not included because it can be changed.
In 2018, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a petition to the Supreme Court on behalf of Jones emphasizing its serious implications on how racial discrimination in the workplace is defined.
“Black women who wish to succeed in the workplace feel compelled to undertake costly, time-consuming, and harsh measures to conform their natural hair to a stereotyped look of professionalism that mimics the appearance of White women’s hair,” LDF lawyers wrote.