A 19-year-old employee at Pet World in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, says her boss did not allow her to clock in for work because of her dreadlocks.
Just before her November 17 shift, Destini Briggs had just gotten new faux dreadlocks, which cost her about $150. Although Destini believed her hair did not break any rules, when she tried to start her shift, her boss stepped in, reported Fox 6 Now.
"'You can't have your hair like that. You have to take it out,'" Destini said her boss told her. "So I called my mom and told her what happened."
"I was very shocked," said Starla Henderson, Briggs' mother. "You're selling dog food, you're cleaning bird poop out of a cage. You're picking worms out of the box. I don't know who it bothered."
Henderson told reporters that when Destini confronted the store manager, she was told the employee handbook states, "hair is to be natural color and an appropriate style for a retail setting."
This confused Destini and her mother even more because they felt her hair met those requirements.
"I think it's appropriate for anything. It's not too long, I can pull it back, won't get in the way of anything," Destini told Fox 6 Now.
Destini and her mother have taken their story to social media because they believe this type of discrimination needs to be called out.
"I just want to expose this discrimination. I think that it was an ambiguous statement. If you want someone to adhere to the rulebook, then it needs to be very plain and simple for everyone to understand," said Henderson. "You're telling us how we, meaning African-American people — because this is more something that is from our culture — what's appropriate and what's not. This is her freedom to express her Black culture.”