Race Matters: Former Black BP Executive Says She Was Fired For Making Co-Workers “Uncomfortable” With “Ethnic” Attire

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Categories: News, Race Matters, SMH

discrimination

Former BP Employee Says She Was Fired For Ethnic Hair & Clothing

A former African-American woman who served as an executive for BP is calling them out for discrimination after she says she was fired for wearing “ethnic clothing and hairstyles.”

via Think Progress

A black woman says she was fired from British Petroleum (BP) for wearing a dashiki and for wearing her hair in braids.

Melphine Evans was a vice president and CFO for two BP ofshoots. Now, she is suing those companies along with nine people, saying she was told that how she dressed was only appropriate “during ‘culture day,’ black history month or special diversity events/days,” and that it was making her colleagues “uncomfortable.”

The dashiki, a piece of traditional West African clothing, became a political and cultural symbol for African Americans during the 1960s, a marker of solidarity with the struggle for economic and racial equality. But that isn’t necessarily why Evans was wearing it; dashikis simply resemble long, patterned shirts.

Still, in her 24-page lawsuit filed with the Orange County Superior Court this week, Evans says that her supervisor told her, “‘You intimidate and make your colleagues uncomfortable by wearing ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles,” according to Courthouse News. Her so-called “ethnic hairstyles” were braids or twists, common ways for an African American woman to wear her hair.

“If you are going to wear ethnic clothing, you should alert people in advance that you will be wearing something ethnic,” Evans says she was told.

SMH. These racist employers seem to be getting worse everyday.

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