Tracy Sanders, Esq. is not your average attorney. The Los Angeles-based leader in law is using her platform to shatter the misconceptions about natural hair in the workplace. Recently, Sanders took to L.A.’s Simply Wholesome for the release of her new book: “Natural Hair in the Workplace: What Are Your Rights?”
Standing before an intimate crowd of supporters rocking their own natural hair styles, locs, and kinks, Sanders shed light on how women of African descent should approach being natural in the workplace. Provided her in-depth expertise in employment law, Sanders seeks to educate both the employers and employees with natural hair to understand their legal position on the matter, thus fostering it’s growth and acceptance in the workplace.
Sanders posed several questions and scenarios to the crowd to challenge their opinions on the issue. “An afro or cornrows, might they be deemed not within the employer’s requirements?” Sanders asked.
“I don’t think that might fit into their uniform look for Corporate America and for their customers as well,” one audience member stated in response.
Well, as expressed in Sanders’ new book, the employee is to consider three things: “A: The Workspace, B: The Employer’s Code and Requirements, and C: Health and Safety Concerns.”
In a scenario that includes being natural in the food industry, Sanders clarified the chief importance of food safety no matter the person’s race, hair texture or its physical appearance.
While some proponents of natural hair would rather fully exercise their 1st Amendment rights to rock any and every natural style they please, Sanders’ book conveys the balance necessary to exercise that freedom within the appropriate confines of the law.
In another scenario documented in Sanders’ book, an African American female’s offer for employment was rescinded because she refused to cut her dreadlocks as a condition of acceptance. Sanders says that according Title VII law, “Although the company has the authority to enforce dress and grooming codes, it cannot single out an ethnic hairstyle.”
For Sanders, the books number one take away is for employers and employees alike to take a “vested interested in the fact that a lot of women of African descent are now wearing natural hair in the workplace.”
To state it plainly, natural hair has certainly made a comeback, and Sanders stands firm in her quest to help the naturalistas of the world embrace their cultural identity, also understanding their value and rights under the law.
Tracy Sanders book, Natural Hair in the Workplace: What are Your Rights? is now available on Amazon and Kindle.