Refusing to hire someone because of dreadlocks is legal, court rules

Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 05, 2018

Employers may refuse to hire someone whose hair is in dreadlocks, a court of appeals has decided.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the civil rights suitagainst Catastrophe Management Services after it told a woman it would not bring her on board with dreadlocks and terminated a job offer.

Reports indicate a human resources manager with the company told the candidate during a hiring meeting dreadlocks "tend to get messy." The EEOC claimed it was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII, arguing dreadlocks are a "racial characteristic," according to NBC News.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the company in this lawsuit has a "race-neutral grooming policy" and was not discriminatory, and dreadlocks are not a cultural practice, NBC News reported.