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“No workplace has a right to do this” Woman claims her job offer was retracted because she has braids

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Anna Pollitt
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A woman has had a job offer withdrawn from a UK employer because she has braids.

Recounting her astounding experience in a Facebook post, Bournemouth University graduate Lara Odoffin did not name the company making the demand, but shared the message they sent explaining that unless she removed her braids, she would not get work:

So after being accepted for a position within this company, they have TAKEN BACK the offer of a position on the grounds...

Posted by Lara Odoffin on Monday, 23 November 2015

“Naturally I simply cannot work for the company,” Lara says in her post, which has been shared more than 6,000 times. “This type of discrimination should not still be happening in this day and age and any establishment still condoning such practices deserve to be shamed and criticised.

“Being a black woman means that to have a long term hairstyle that stays neat is always going to be a problem. Having braids that last for 2-4 months and can be packed neatly and styled to however a workplace requires is the solution to this problem. No workplace has any right to forbid you from this. This is discrimination and I am disgusted that I had to be subject to such behaviour in this 21st century.”

Earlier this year another black woman was told by a “luxury recruitment agency” that she would have to remove her braids or lose out on jobs with brands who prefer a “more natural look.” 

Simone Powley told The Voice: “I couldn’t decide what to do; if I took them out then I wasn’t standing up for equal rights and basically saying it’s OK to discriminate against me.”

Lara wrote a follow-up post thanking people for sharing her message and explaining that for now, she is not naming the firm that discriminated against her and is seeking legal advice. 

“However, it does not deter from the fact now that I have chanced upon an opportunity to correct blatant ignorance and discrimination,” she added. “I certainly will keep going until it is put to rest. If it does result in me having no choice but to completely expose the company, I have no problem in doing so.”

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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