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Blog > Why hairstyle requirements don't violate Title VII in one sentence

Why hairstyle requirements don't violate Title VII in one sentence

January 19, 2016 I By JOSHUA THOMPSON

In EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, Inc., the federal government is claiming that a business’s decision to ban dreadlocks in the workplace violates Title VII’s requirement that the workplace be free of racial discrimination. Briefing was completed long ago, and PLF filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that requiring professional-looking haircuts does not amount to racial discrimination.

Last week, the EEOC filed a supplemental authority letter arguing that new evidence has come to light demonstrating that the business’s dreadlocks ban does, in fact, violate Title VII. Its evidence was a new policy adopted by the Marines that allows women Marines to wear locks in their hair. Today, the business filed a response to the government’s “new evidence,” completely eviscerating the government’s argument in one sentence: “CMS’s policy is fully consistent with Title VII, and the fact that one component of the government had a similar policy at the time this case arose, and only recently changed it—and only for women—is supportive of CMS’s arguments, not the government’s.

So, when the government decided to sue CMS for its hairstyle requirement, the Marines had the same requirement. Moreover, the Marines did not drop their requirement for everyone, only women. It’s long time that this frivolous lawsuit went away.

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