Lara Odoffin is definitely taking the high road after she was offered a job and then had the offer rescinded all over her hairstyle.
The Bournemouth University graduate posted the details of the situation on her Facebook page, but chose not to name the employer with the discriminatory policy so as not to “destroy someone’s livelihood and business.” (She’s better than us.) As you can see from the note below, Odoffin was told she would only be allowed to accept the position if she removed her braids.
This type of discriminatory behavior is most certainly not okay, and yet it’s becoming a far too common headline. As if there aren’t enough barriers to employment for women of color, just when we think we’ve gotten in the door, suddenly there’s an additional set of “rules” that only pertain to us and our appearance. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features).” Further, “The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.” We would think discriminatory policies against hair textures and styles, as noted by this anonymous employer, would certainly violate this law.
Odoffin’s post has since been shared nearly 4,000 times and the support prompted the young grad to post an additional message of thanks. We also hope she’s seeking legal aide.