16-year-old Chick-Fil-A employee despatched house over ‘unnatural’ hair colour

HARRISBURG, N.C. (WJZY) — Sixteen-year-old Autumn Williams remains to be attempting to know how the blonde hair colour in her braids was deemed unnatural at her Chick-Fil-A job.

She says she felt singled out and embarrassed.

She’d solely been working at a Chick-Fil-A in Harrisburg, North Carolina, for 3 months earlier than she was pulled apart for an obvious uniform violation. What she was advised caught her caught off guard.

“She was like, ‘Hey, certainly one of our supervisors got here by and stated they seen blonde in your hair, and he requested that you simply go away and are available again when it’s taken out because it’s an unnatural colour to you,’” Williams stated.

That is the colour Williams says she had on the time:

(Courtesy of Autumn Williams)

“I don’t know what blonde is in my hair as a result of my braids had been brown, and there wasn’t blonde in them, (regardless that) my pure hair colour is blonde,” Williams stated. “And the man, once I had orientation, he by no means stated something about my hair colour or it being a difficulty.”

She claims different coworkers additionally had unnatural hair colours, however she was singled out. 

When she requested her human sources supervisor for clarification about unnatural hair colours, he referred Williams to the worker handbook.

However the handbook doesn’t specify what unnatural colours are.

Chick-Fil-A Handbook

She says the dearth of clarification led to her quitting.

Chick-Fil-A responded to a request for remark, saying:

“I used to be glad that I didn’t have to alter myself to suit into another person’s … picture of what it’s prefer to be a Chick-Fil-A employee,” Williams stated. “…I used to be simply glad that I used to be in a position to simply keep true to myself and transfer on and discover some place else to work that’s nice with how I look.”

“It’s a protecting fashion for us,” stated her mom, Nina Burch. “There was nothing eccentric in regards to the colour that was in her hair. So I feel possibly there must be some sensitivity coaching about what folks can and can’t seem like. However that simply sounds so loopy to say as a result of who’s to say what anyone can seem like based mostly on their race?”

Since her determination to stop, Williams says she’s filed a grievance with the Equal Employment Alternative Fee.

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