Ear Hustle

A Black Graduate’s Job Offer Revoked Because Braided Hair Is Not Accepted

Discrimination is one of those ugly things that will not die a fast death.  While the entire world was awaiting the release of the disturbing police footage of Laquan McDonald’s shooting, another bright and obviously educated young lady was being discriminated against.  Lara Odoffin prior to November 23, 2015, EarHustle411 would have to assume she had been diligently educating herself and preparing herself for various positions of employment hopefully one in her field of study.  Odoffin now a graduate of Bournemouth University, we can see she was excited about having been offered a job with a company that is unnamed but as sure as she was not yet over the excitement, the other shoe drops.

lara odoffin

photo credit: Lara Odoffin Facebook page

The unnamed company informed Lara that her job offer was being rescinded because the company’s uniform policy does not “allow or accept” braided hair.  How’s that for discrimination?  Even the armed forces have a policy that is suitable for their soldiers that have natural hairstyles.  (see photo below)

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 1.05.29 PM

photo credit: US Army Website

Odoffin decided to do what majority of us would do, take our frustration and anger to social media.  It is extremely hurtful not to mention embarrassing for a person to have been given an opportunity but then to yank the rug from under them because of something as minor as a hairstyle.  Take a look at Odoffin’s communication from a representative named “Sam” and her response she posted on her Facebook page:


photo credit: Lara Odoffin

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.39.24 PM

photo credit: Lara Odoffin Facebook page

While Lara has made the personal decision to not disclose the company that has cause this ache in her heart, EarHustle411 has to wonder what kind of company would be so bold to discriminate like this.  In a way we understand her decision but on the other hand we also agree that companies like this cannot continue to operate in any way that is discriminative and make money from all walks of life.  Odoffin’s post was shared well over 3,000 times and counting and she said the following on her post:

“I thought i’d post a status to save time answering questions.

Firstly I’d like to say thank you to everyone for the support.

What I intended to be a vent of my feelings towards the company and maybe be shared a couple of times has exploded and touched/angered a lot of people in way I genuinely could never have imagined,”

“I am not currently naming the company (as much as i’d like to right now out of indignation and anger) because I do not intend to destroy someones livelihood and business, and I don’t really want a lawsuit on my hands either… however it does not deter from the fact now that I have chanced upon an opportunity to correct blatant ignorance and discrimination, and it is a fact that 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.

“This policy needs to be eradicated completely, there is no room for such rules in this day and age- across any sector. More than anything it just made me upset. I had the right experience, they were happy to have me… it was just about my hair. Kind of silly really. I will be speaking to a lawyer about this tomorrow and will be contacting the company. As I have now learnt social media is a very powerful thing and I would not want to misuse it!

“Again, thank you very much for the surprising but amazing level of support, I will keep you posted.

“It has really made a difference so please do keep sharing! xxx”

We have to say that discrimination, racism, sexism and any other “ism” has no place in a society that differs greatly whether race, creed, color, gender.  We must hold all people including organizations accountable for their blatant disregard for “differences” and until we make the decision to do that, the nonsense will continue at the expense of our future.

EarHustle411 hopes and prays that Lara Odoffin finds a position that will accept her in all her greatness (braids and all) and applaud her for her grace in handling this unfortunate experience. 

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