A Black Banana Republic employee is calling out the retailer for discrimination, reports the New York Daily News.
According to the news outlet Destiny Tompkins—who worked at the brand’s store in the Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York—claims that her manager barred her from taking on shifts at the store until she removed her box braids.
The exchange between Tompkins and her manager, who is a White man, took place after a district manager—who also happens to be White—stopped by the store. She claims that her manager called her hairstyle too “urban” and said that it wasn’t “Banana Republic appropriate,” reports the source. She says her manager also added that if she didn’t remove her braids, he would not put her on the schedule for any shifts.
After the encounter, Tompkins took to Facebook to share what happened. Her post has been shared over 35,000 times. She says her experience was humiliating and degrading.
Following the incident, a Banana Republic rep released a statement saying that the brand doesn’t tolerate discrimination and a probe has been launched surrounding the incident. “We are committed to upholding an inclusive environment where our customers and our employees feel respected,” read the statement according to the New York Daily News.
Black women and girls being policed by their employers and schools over their hair has been an ongoing issue. In May, two Black twin sisters in Boston were kicked off of their sports team, banned from attending prom, and faced detention for refusing to remove their box braids. According to the New York Daily News, in 2016 a federal appeals court ruled that an Alabama company was allowed to discriminate against individuals who wore dreadlocks.
SOURCE: New York Daily News
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