11th Circuit Rules that Refusing to Hire African American Because of Dreadlocks Is Not Illegal

September 22, 2016

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the appeals court with jurisdiction over Florida district courts, recently ruled that an employer did not engage in race discrimination when it refused to hire an African American woman because of her dreadlocks.  The Court ruled the employer’s “race-neutral grooming policy” was not discriminatory as hairstyles, while “culturally associated with race,” are not “immutable physical characteristics.” The Court opined that traits in a person’s appearance that are tied to their culture but are otherwise changeable are not protected and can be used to deny job offers.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) brought suit on behalf of Cassidy Jones against Catastrophe Management Solutions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.  If you have questions regarding employer policies, please contact your Tampa Employment Lawyer, Darren McClain.

This post was written by Darren McClain