Woman Sent Home from Work for Wearing Braids, Sparking Controversy But Company Insists It Was About the Style

by Gee NY
Dior in the braids that prompted ShopRite to send her home from work.

Eighteen-year-old woman, Dior, employed at a ShopRite in Enfield, Connecticut, was sent home for wearing braids, sparking outrage and calls for action.

Her dad, Andrew Pinnock, a former NFL player, stood beside NAACP members, his eyes welled with tears as he denounced the treatment of her daughter by the company.

CT NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile addressed the incident, stating:

“She came to work to do her job, and then ShopRite tells her that she must leave based on her hair. That should not be tolerated. Not here in Enfield and nowhere across America.”

The controversy arose when Dior, who had been working for the supermarket for about two months without any issues, arrived with her hair styled in braids with red streaks.

Despite never facing prior objections to her hairstyle, she was suddenly confronted and sent home on Tuesday.

Andrew Pinnock, visibly distraught, recounted his daughter’s ordeal, emphasizing, “I’m trying to explain to her: ‘That’s not right.’ There’s some things you can let go but you can’t let this slide.”

Advocates pointed out that this action contradicts Connecticut’s state legislation known as the “An Act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” signed into law in 2021.

The law, often referred to as the CROWN Act, prohibits discrimination in workplaces based on hairstyles commonly associated with people of color.

In response, ShopRite released a statement asserting its commitment to an inclusive culture. The company clarified that protective hairstyles protected by the CROWN Act, including braids, locs, and twists, do not violate its policies.

They cited Connecticut House Bill 6515, which bans discrimination based on hair texture and protective hairstyles in employment.

“These hairstyles do not violate the ShopRite of Enfield’s dress code policy, and we do not believe that the law was violated,” the statement read.

ShopRite reiterated its commitment to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Despite ShopRite’s statement, the NAACP organization plans to hold a rally to protest the treatment of Dior and advocate for the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.

For many Blacks, the incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle against racial discrimination in workplaces and highlights the importance of upholding legislation that protects individuals’ rights to express cultural identity through their appearance.

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