According to a report in The Roanoke Times, a moving company the Virginia town recently settled a lawsuit filed against it for alleged discrimination.
The plaintiff of the lawsuit claims the company denied him a job because he refused to cut his dreadlocked hair. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit on behalf of the man, who keeps his hair long and dreadlocked as part of his Rastafarian religious beliefs.
The plaintiff applied for a job in 2008, however, he claims his refusal to cut his hair led to him not being hired. He then met with the EEOC about his case, which resulted in the lawsuit soon after.
As part of the settlement, the moving company will pay $30,000 to the plaintiff, and it will implement anti-discrimination policies and training, which includes posting notices at work sites about compliance.
In response to the lawsuit and settlement, the EEOC issued a press released that claims the case was "validation that the American dream still exists and that one's faith does not have to hold a person back from working in a job that he is qualified to perform."
Furthermore, the case highlights the importance of companies avoiding any perceived discriminatory actions that may prompt expensive professional liability lawsuits. A local transportation agency president estimated the case cost the moving company more than $400,000.