Teen sent home from job due to hair color

Teen sent home from work because of her hair color
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DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) — A Virginia mother reached out for answers after her teenage daughter was sent home from work, not because of her performance, but because of her hair color.

It happened at the Food Lion on Westgate Drive in Dinwiddie a day after prom, leaving the 17-year-old girl devastated.

“Her hair was red, burgundy. It was long and she had curls in it. I’m an advocate for my daughter,” Gennell White said.

She got the hairdo to accompany a silver gown complete with sparkling sequins.

"She was beautiful,” White said.

But apparently managers at her job thought her hair was too much. The 11th-grader is a bit embarrassed about the whole ordeal, so she asked not to be identified.

White said she remembers when the girl came home from work, the day after her prom.

"She was upset. She paid $100 and some for that hair. She had to pay the salon,” White said. “She would have lost her job if she didn’t take the hair out.”

She says a manager told her daughter to go home because the artificially colored red hair violates store policy. She did, and has since returned to work, but her mom questions if that’s a fair deal.

“It was nice and neat and very professional,” White said.

She says she took a visit to the store and saw other young ladies with colors in their hair.

“The manager stated to me that young lady knows she’s not supposed to have that hair color, but if she were to be sent home, ‘we’d be short of a cashier.' I told her ‘you were short of a cashier when my daughter got sent home,’” White said.

A Food Lion spokesperson said Wednesday the grocery store recently revised its policy when it comes to hair and whoever sent the teen home did so in error. She said the company will work with the family to get this matter resolved.

“If it’s in the policy, we’re going to go by the policy,” White said. “If there’s policies and procedures, we’ll go by it.”

But the mother wants to make sure it’s being applied to everyone.

“She couldn’t understand why the other people have color," White said. "What did she do so wrong?”

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