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Retail Store Zara Faces Discrimination With Employee Who Has Braided Hair
By Victor Ochieng
Another discrimination complaint is being leveled against Zara by one of its employees. The employee, Cree Ballah, says she was discriminated against because of her natural hair.
Ballah, who works at a Toronto store and describes herself as bi-racial, told CBS News that when she arrived at work on March 23, two managers came to her and told her to release her hair from the box braids, which she’d pulled back into an updo.
Speaking to Toronto’s City News, she said the managers explained to her that they weren’t doing so to offend her but to help achieve a clean professional look. To make matters worse, Ballah claims the managers tried to fix her hair the way they thought was appropriate; doing so right in the middle of a crowded mall.
“It was very humiliating… it was unprofessional,” she told CBC. “My hair type is also linked to my race, so to me, I felt like it was direct discrimination against my ethnicity in the sense of what comes along with it.”
Unhappy with what transpired, Ballah went ahead and filed a complaint with the store’s human resources department. A meeting was held two weeks later to help come to the bottom of the matter and find a solution, but Ballah says she wasn’t satisfied with the resolution reached.
According to a Zara spokesperson, who spoke with The Huffington Post, Zara, a fashion retailer, doesn’t have a “formal policy regarding employee’s hairstyles we expect all employees to ensure that they present a professional appearance that enables them to serve our valued customers.”
The statement went further to say that the company had held a talk with the employee “and respect the privacy of those discussions. Zara would never, under any circumstances, ask an employee to remove his or her braids. We are proud of our diverse workforce, and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
There are a number of cases where Blacks have been discriminated against because of their natural hair.
Earlier this month, Jack Astor’s restaurant employee Akua Agyemfra, who used to work as a server at a Toronto branch, was fired for wearing her natural hair in a bun. Another Black woman, Rhonda Lee, a Louisiana meteorologist, was in 2012 fired for defending her hair on-air, following online criticism.
Zara doesn’t have a good record when it comes to handling its employees and customers. The company has been accused of racial bias and has also been, more than once, criticized for selling offensive products.
PHOENIX — The Arizona State Fair announced four concerts on its 2016 slate, and it’s already evident there is going to be a wide musical variety.
The State Fair, which is scheduled to take place in Phoenix Oct. 7-30, released information through its Facebook page that headliners this year will feature hip hop star Iggy Azalea and popular country music duo Big & Rich.
The other concerts announced include hip hop artist B.o.B and a night labeled “Fiesta Friday,” which will host performances by MC Magic, Baby Bash, Amanda Perez, Brown Boy, MOBFAM and Kap-G.
Big & Rich will be the first to perform out of all that were announced, as they are set to play at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. One of their biggest songs took the country world over in 2004 with “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” and their latest hit “Lovin’ Lately” is making its rounds on country radio stations now.
B.o.B is scheduled to appear on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. He had many songs that were some of the most popular in the nation at times, including “Airplanes” and “Magic.”
“Fiesta Friday” will kick off on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m, while fair-goers can go see “Fancy” and “Black Widow” performed live by Iggy Azalea on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m.
Reserved seating tickets for the shows go on sale Sept. 10.
Presents: SABROSO: CRAFT BEER, TACO & MUSIC FESTIVAL