i was forced to quit by my store manager and the district coordinator of my company because of my hair style dreadlocks is that legal?

I was never consistently enforced to do something different with my hair. The only time I was told anything about my hair was in a meeting where I felt forced to put in my two weeks because the store manager and district coordinator pressured me to make a decision about changing my hairstyle. They gave me the option to quit or be demoted if I didn’t change my hair. I’ve had two promotions with this company and in this process I never had anyone make any kind of comments about changing my hair. I’ve been with this company for a year and been promoted twice, I’ve worked hard to get where I am with this job and I feel as if I am being discriminated against because of the way my hair naturally grows.

Asked on July 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employer is free to change its mind as to the conditions of the workplace and to impose new regulations and terms of employment much as it sees fit. This is true so long as no terms of an employment contract or union agreement was violated. Additionally, your treatment must not have been the result of actionable discrimination. In other words, it must not have been based on your inclusion in a protected class based on such factors as: race, religion, age (over 49), disability, gender and the like (this varies based on federal/state law). Bottom line, an employer has the right to put forth the company image that it wants. While seemingly unfair, it's the law.


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