Banana Republic Employee From Harlem Told Braids Violated Dress Code

October 6, 2017

ABC news reports that a young employee at a Banana Republic store in Westchester County braided her hair.

That got her in trouble for violating the store’s dress code she didn’t know existed.

She took her case to social media.

19-year-old Destiny Thompkins has worked at the White Plains location for about a month.

She was called into a meeting with her manager on Wednesday that caught completely off guard.

“He said, ‘The district manager came in and she pointed out your hair.” I said, ‘What is wrong with my hair?'” Thompkins said. “‘It is a little too urban and unkempt for our look and image. We were wondering if you could take them out.'”

Thompkins, who works to pay her way through school, says she could not believe it was her hair style coming under attack by her 30-something white male manager.

She says many black women do this to protect their hair from colder weather.

“I said, ‘Okay, I was looking for a new job anyway. He said, ‘Oh, you can quit today if you want,'” Thompkins said.

The Harlem native and aspiring filmmaker vented her anger on Facebook.

She says she wants this manager to apologize, to be disciplined and most importantly, to truly understand why she was offended by his comments about the braids she had just put in about a week ago.

“You are telling me I’m too black to work here and you have a problem with the way I present myself as a black woman,” Thompkins said.

Banana Republic released a statement Friday saying it is investigating the incident: “We are committed to upholding an inclusive environment where our customers and our employees feel respected.”

Meantime, Thompkins says she will soon quit the job and that she and her family are considering legal action. They believe this is clear cut discrimination.

“I felt so overwhelmed and confused and just, I just felt so powerless within that moment,” Thompkins said.

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