Student denied summer job thanks to no-dreadlocks dress code
Markeese Warner says she applied for a food services job in June for a Six Flags park in Mitchellville, Maryland but says she was denied a job because the park has a rule against employees with dreadlocks.
Warner started a petition on Change.org, calling the policy discriminatory. It has so far accumulated more than 35,000 signatures.
"Please join me in asking Six Flags to stop discriminating against people with locks," writes Warner on her petition page. "Far from an 'extreme' hairstyle, dreadlocks (or 'locks') are a natural way of wearing hair for huge numbers of people."
Warner has been visiting Six Flags parks since her childhood, but now says she will never return as a visitor or patron.
Speaking to Vice, Warner, who is black, clarified that she doesn't think the policy is explicitly racist. "I think this policy is discriminating. And I think it does enable racial profiling. But it's not blatantly racist because anybody can have dreadlocks," she said.
"And it is unfair because unlike hair coloring or some of the other things, dreads are a natural hairstyle. They present the true texture of my hair."
"We have a very conservative dress code. We are equal opportunity employers. We don't discriminate based on gender, age, or race," a company representative told Vice. "As far as this girl goes, I can't really comment on her. It's not based on anything other than we like to ensure our members appear clean and neat."
The company policy also disallows Mohawks, "variations in hair colours," visible tattoos and earrings "other than one earring per earlobe for females only."
Should a theme park be able to disallow hair and clothing choices such as dreadlocks, Mohawks and tattoos for its employees? What rules does your employer have on the topic? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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