Just weeks after a federal appeals court sided with an Alabama company and gave it permission to discriminate against hiring someone because of their dreadlocks, one company in Illinois is actually changing its policy in order to allow dreadlocks on the job. And it’s all because of one teenager and her fight against hair discrimination.
Sixteen-year-old Tyler House was offered a job at Marcus Country Club Hills Cinema after going through the interview process. Tyler was pretty excited about starting her new job, until her first day at work, when she met her manager.
“He called my name and brought me to the hallway and said, ‘Dreads are not allowed,’” said Tyler.
“Why is it that dreadlocks are not permitted in your employees, but it’s OK for us to spend our dreadlock money in your company? I don`t understand. They come to an African-American neighborhood but they discriminate against some of us. I don`t understand it,” said Tyler’s mother, Darnetta Herring.
Tyler says she was a bit confused because she had the style when she interviewed for the job,and wasn’t told anything about the anti-dreadlock policy.
The Country Club Hills, Ill., movie theater had a policy against dreadlocks, but that was before Tyler and her sister, who posted about the incident on Facebook, made the company rethink its position.
The theater released a statement to WGN news about its policy change:
This week we learned that a job candidate at our Marcus Country Club Hills Cinema was turned away because she wore dreadlocks. Some have expressed concern, and their reaction has led us to re-examine that decision. Marcus Theatres operates in many communities across the United States, and our success is due in part to our talented team. Our associates come to work each day committed to delivering a best-in-class experience to everyone who passes through our doors. Effective immediately, no job candidate will be disqualified because they wear dreadlocks. We are in the process of reviewing our protocols, and will update them to ensure that they reflect our professional standards and commitment to recognizing the diversity of our associates.
Maybe more companies will eventually realize it’s not what’s on someone’s head that makes that person employable or not.