Your hair should have nothing to do with your work performance, something a North Carolina teenager had to learn that the hard way. Autumn Williams, 16, told Queen City News that her employer, Chick-fil-A in Harrisburg, told her she had a uniform violation because her blonde braids weren’t her natural hair color.
Williams was only working for the popular fast-food restaurant for three months when her supervisor pulled her aside. She said she felt singled out and embarrassed.
“She was like, ‘Hey, one of our supervisors came by and said they noticed blonde in your hair, and he asked that you leave and come back when it’s taken out since it’s an unnatural color to you,’” Williams said.
Not understanding why this wasn’t mentioned during orientation, Williams stood her ground and brought the issue to human resources. She saw that some of her fellow coworkers also had hair that was deemed “unnatural” and was curious about what the employee handbook said.
According to the handbook, there is nothing in there that specifies what unnatural hair colors are. “Unnatural hair colors or eccentric styles (e.g., Mohawks, shaven designs, etc.) are not permitted,” the book says. “Females: Hair that falls around the face must be tied back using a simple hair band or barrette that has no loose or dangling parts.”
Since she wasn’t given the clarification she needed, Williams quit.
Her mother, Nina Burch, said she was confused as to why her daughter was sent home. She wanted to speak to management about the situation but they refused to talk to her. According to WBTV, a representative from Chick-fil-A corporate said Williams’ supervisor misinterpreted the policy; the teen is welcomed to return to the specified location.
Williams said she has no desire to ever work there again. “No one else should feel like they have to change themselves to fit into someone’s perfect image of them,” she said.
Source: Black Enterprise