Dreadlock Discrimination: Is There Such A Thing?


Antonio Hegwood (pictured at left) may have to shave his head to keep his job. A few weeks ago, his supervisors at a St. Louis gas station told him not to come back unless he got rid of his dreadlocks. Employers are allowed to have policies on hairstyles, but this case grazes the limits of the law.

Petro Mart hired Hegwood in January to work as an overnight clerk. He claims that his dreads, which hang halfway down his neck, only became a problem 4½ months into the job, reports the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Petro Mart's policy states that hair should be "kept neat and clean ... immoderate styles ... such as corn rows, braids etc. must be approved by a supervisor... dreadlocks and Mohawks are unacceptable."