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Former Security Guard Sues Celebrity Employer for Racial Discrimination


Recently, employers have begun to adopt company policies that acknowledge that racial discrimination can manifest itself in rules about employees’ hairstyles.  As for state laws, California enacted the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act in 2019; it prevents discrimination based on hair texture and prohibits employers from refusing to allow Black employees to wear natural hairstyles, including but not limited to braids and twists.  California’s CROWN Act was the first state law to ban hair texture discrimination; other states followed suit, and in 2020, the federal CROWN Act went into effect.  Before these laws came into force, most employers worded their hairstyle policies in such a way that they were more restrictive for Black employees than for employees of other races, whether or not the employers intended them this way.  This month, a Black man who claims that he was unjustly fired from his job working for a controversial Black celebrity after he refused to change his hairstyle. If you have suffered discrimination at work because of your natural hairstyle, contact a Los Angeles race discrimination lawyer.

Employee Claims He Was Fired After Refusing to Cut His Hair

The plaintiff in a currently pending lawsuit is an African American Muslim man who wears his hair in dreads.  In 2021, the plaintiff began working as a security guard for a celebrity who is involved in various entertainment and business projects; the plaintiff was assigned to work on several of these.  The plaintiff noticed from the beginning that the celebrity employer, who is also Black, always treated White employees and other non-Black employees in a collegial manner, but that he was abrasive and disrespectful toward Black employees.

Besides this, the celebrity employer singled out the plaintiff, trying to pressure him to convert from Islam to Christianity.  The final straw was when the employer told a manager to convey the message to the plaintiff that he would be fired if he did not cut his hair short.  The plaintiff refused, and soon the employer reduced his hours, citing financial difficulties.  In 2022, the employer fired the plaintiff.

In April 2024, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against his former employer, citing wrongful termination of employment and discrimination based on race and religion.  The same employer has also faced lawsuits from other Black employees, making allegations similar to those made by the plaintiff who refused to cut his dreads.  Just because you and your employer are of the same race  does not always mean that your employer’s mistreatment of you does not count as racial discrimination.  Contact an employment lawyer if your employer is treating you disrespectfully because of a protected characteristic.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination and retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer mistreated you because of your natural hairstyle or fired you for refusing to change it.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Redondo Beach, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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