If you have been deemed unfit for employment or treated unjustly on the job due to hair discrimination, contact our sharp, skilled attorneys at once. At Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC (FMCO), our employment discrimination attorneys focus on leveling the playing field by fighting hard for the right of every individual employee in the Chicago area to be treated fairly.
We are committed to the idea that every individual, regardless of the color of their skin or the style of their hair, deserves an equal opportunity for employment and a safe, respectful environment in which to work.
If you have been denied either, make an appointment with us so we can evaluate the viability of your case. Once you become our client, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for lost wages, denied benefits, bonuses, and promotions, and mental distress.
Hair Discrimination Grooming Policies Persist
As anti-discrimination laws have been enacted (e.g. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII), employers have developed purportedly policies to create loopholes through which discrimination can squirm. In this case, some companies established grooming policies that required employees maintain a “professional,” “neat,” or “non-ethnic” appearance.
When particular groups are affected disproportionately by such employment rules, the practice, known as “disparate impact” is considered discriminatory. So, any grooming policy that is unfairly applied to one group of employees is unlawful. No matter what purpose such regulations supposedly serve — safety, avoidance of customer complaints, projecting a corporate image — unless they are applied equally to all employees, they are not permitted.
The CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair)
In spite of the way hair discrimination obviously focused on Black candidates and employees, The Crown Act was not passed until 2019 and then was law only in California. Amazingly, it took nearly 30 years after Title VII for the CROWN Act to be passed in that one state and until January of 2023 for it to become effective as the Illinois CROWN Act.
Now, finally, the rights of individuals wearing any of the following hairstyles are legally protected:
- Bantu knots
The CROWN Act also provides employees with the right to keep their hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.
The Crown Act Is Now Illinois Law, but the Fight for Equal Treatment Continues
It is disturbing that to this day, there is no nationwide legal protection against racial hair discrimination, although the bill has been passed in the House of Representatives, it has not yet been approved by the Senate. This means that Black people throughout the U.S. are often left to risk negative consequences at work for wearing their hair in ways natural to them.
Even in Chicago, where the ILLINOIS CROWN Act is now in place, the prejudice that preceded its passage has by no means been eradicated, so it is essential to have one of our strong hair discrimination attorneys at your side when you are fighting for your civil rights in a court of law. You should be aware that FMCO has an impressive track record of successful outcomes in employment discrimination litigation.
Understanding Your Rights Relative to Hair Discrimination in Illinois
Whether you have a natural hairstyle like any of those mentioned above and are applying for job or are already an employee of a business in Chicagoland, an employer cannot, due to your hairstyle:
- Consider you ineligible for employment
- Refuse to allow you to interact with customers or clients
- Refuse to promote you
- Deny you bonuses
- Assign you menial tasks inappropriate to your job status
- Prohibit natural or cultural hairstyles in posted notices or the employee handbook
- Fire you for having an afro, dreads, or another natural hairstyle
- Retaliate against you for complaining about hairstyle discrimination
Workplace harassment based on your hairstyle is also illegal.
How Our Determined, Compassionate Hair Discrimination Attorneys Can Help
We have in-depth knowledge of the federal, state, and local laws applying to employment discrimination in general and hair discrimination in particular. We will investigate your case thoroughly, examining pertinent witness accounts, letters, emails, texts, employee handbooks, and posted notices.
After gathering evidence, we will create a carefully crafted strategy to use during negotiations and, if necessary, at trial. No matter what, your best interests will be our priority. We will fight vigorously to win your case and recover the damages you need and deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Hair Discrimination Lawyers Today
Standing up to employment discrimination is not only difficult; it can be intimidating. You should not take on the opposition without our powerful legal representation. Contact us now to discuss your best options and the damages we may be able to recover for you. We are eager to restore your job status and your dignity.
Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC, located in Geneva, Illinois, successfully defends clients in Chicago and surrounding DuPage, Kane, and Cook Counties from the scourge of employment discrimination.