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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Major Employment Discrimination Case Targeting Natural Black Hairstyles

5/14/18

Read a PDF of our statement here.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Major Employment Discrimination Case Targeting Natural Black Hairstyles

The U.S. Supreme Court will not re-examine an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Catastrophe Management Solutions did not violate federal civil rights law when it wrongfully rescinded a job offer to Chastity Jones, a qualified Black woman, solely because she wore her hair in dreadlocks (“locs”).

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed a motion for Ms. Jones to intervene as the petitioner in the case in April, so that she could seek review of the Eleventh Circuit’s decision. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought the suit on Ms. Jones’ behalf and decided not to pursue the case in the Supreme Court.

“A Black natural hairstyle is not a relevant factor for determining whether a person is able to do a specific job,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at LDF. “Chastity Jones’ case is at the heart of whether Black people can compete in the workforce. We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has denied Ms. Jones the chance to intervene and further pursue the case, halting a critical opportunity to address employment discrimination.”

Press:

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.