Chastity Jones’s lawyers argue that racial stereotypes can be evidence of job discrimination.
A black Alabama woman who lost a job offer because she refused to cut her dreadlocks is asking the Supreme Court to hear her case.
On April 4, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a petition to add EEOC v.Catastrophe Management Solutions to the Court’s docket — a case with serious implications for how racial discrimination in the workplace is defined.
The case revolves around Chastity Jones, an Alabama woman who was offered a job as a customer service representative at a call center in Mobile in 2010. During the interview,Jones wore her hair in short, natural locs and was dressed in a business suit and pumps. An HR manager later told Jones that dreadlocks violated the company’s grooming policy because they “tend to get messy.” She told Jones she couldn’t wear her hair that way at work, and when Jones refused to cut her locs, the job offer was rescinded.
Since then, Jones has been locked in a legal battle with the company over its decision. Jones contends that the issue was a clear example of racial discrimination. The company, Catastrophe Management Solutions, says its decision was merely a grooming policy unrelated to race.
In 2013, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Alabama company, arguing that the HR manager denied …