From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A black Dillard’s sales associate in Texas says in a federal lawsuit that she was told to wear a hat when she showed up for work with her hair “styled naturally.” She says she was later fired unfairly for not meeting her sales quota.
Whitney Brown says she had been working in the department store’s Abilene, Texas, location for nearly four years when she arrived at work one day without straightening her hair. The white store director, she says, asked her, “What is going on with your hair?” The store director and operations manager, who also is white, both told Brown to put a hat on, according to Brown’s Nov. 6 court filing ( Brown v. Dillard’s, Inc. , N.D. Tex., No. 1:17-cv-00168, complaint filed 11/6/17 ).
Brown later sent an email to both women saying their comments about her hair were offensive. Neither responded, she says.
The case is similar in some respects to one currently before a federal appeals court in Georgia. In that case, the federal government alleges that a Mobile, Ala., catastrophe claims administration services provider failed to hire a black job seeker on racial grounds because she refused to cut off her dreadlocks.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in September 2016 rejected the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s argument that it stated a viable claim under the modern definition of “race.” That definition includes individual expressions and cultural characteristics associated with race, the agency argued. The EEOC, however, has asked the full Eleventh Circuit to reconsider its ruling. NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. and others have filed a brief supporting the EEOC bid for rehearing.
In Brown’s case, she says she was out of a job six months after sending the email to the store director and operations manager. Dillard’s told her she was fired for not meeting her sales quota for the year. But she was one of several employees who didn’t meet quota, and some sales associates who aren’t black who missed their sales marks were allowed to keep their jobs, according Brown’s complaint.
The real reasons she was fired, Brown says, were her race and her complaints about race discrimination. She also says a co-worker who hitched a ride to work with Brown one day was told by the store director that she would be discharged if she accepted any more rides with Brown.
The lawsuit includes claims of race discrimination and retaliation under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981).
Dillard’s didn’t respond Nov. 7 to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.
The Coles Firm P.C. and the Law Offices of Liz Lamberson represent Brown. No attorney had filed an appearance yet for Dillard’s.
To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at email@example.com
Text of the complaint is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Brown_v_Dillards_Inc_Docket_No_117cv00168_ND_Tex_Nov_06_2017_Cour?doc_id=X1Q6NTU61H82&imagename=1-1.pdf.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)