Donzell Lenard, a former worker at St. Louis, Missouri-based Energy Petroleum, alleged that he was fired after he refused to cut his dreadlocks.
According to KMOV4, Lenard was making decent pay as an employee of the independent fuel and lubricant distributor. He worked there for about a month when he was approached by a hiring manager about his hanging dreads.
“He said if I couldn’t cut my hair, I can’t work,” Lenard told the news outlet. He said that issue with his hair was never brought to his attention.
“Why wasn’t it brought to me then? Then, all of a sudden you say it was overlooked. How could you overlook that? How do you overlook that I have long hair?” he asked.
Lenard said he would
Lenard showed KMOV4 documents from his company about the rules. He said he received those on the first day of his job but he received a document that governed grooming a few weeks ago.
“Their rule should have been out there. It should not have been overlooked. You told me about every other rule,” Lenard said.
He said he would like his job back.
Energy Petroleum has not made a statement about Lenard’s discrimination claims. Attorney Brian Pezza said, “It’s not a winning case for an employer to decide they are going to challenge an employee’s religious beliefs.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.