Black worker claims employer required dreadlocks be cut in lawsuit
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By Chauncey Alcorn, The grio
Jeffrey Thornton’s lawsuit may test the limits of California’s 2019 CROWN Act law against anti-Black hair discrimination.
…Audio-visual specialist Jeffrey Thornton and his legal team filed their suit against the event planning company known as Encore Global in San Diego Superior Court on Monday, according to WWSB. The court case is believed to be the first of its kind since California’s law barring companies from discriminating against Black hairstyles went into effect almost two years ago…
In his lawsuit, Thornton claims he recently applied and interviewed for a technical supervisor position and was told by a hiring manager that he was a competitive candidate, but would have to cut his hair to get the job, according to KFMB…
“I was told that I was recommended by my East Coast references and that I should find the transition to be no problem,” Thornton told KFMB. “All that was left was to discuss the dress code. I expected that I was to remove my ear gauges. It’s not a problem. I’d be willing to trim my facial hair, but I wasn’t prepared to be told that I would need to cut my hair in order to comply with Encore’s standards.”
Thornton told the news station cutting his locs was a dealbreaker, but said the local Encore Global hiring manager told him the position would be waiting for him if he changed his mind.
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