Photo: NY Post, Wayne Carrington

Photo: NY Post, Wayne Carrington

Former AEG employee Tiffany Bryan recently filed a $900,000 lawsuit in a Brooklyn federal court after claiming the company fired her for refusing to “tame” her large afro.

Bryan, a 27-year-old bone-marrow cancer survivor, decided to go natural in 2008 when her hair began growing back following chemotherapy treatments and refused to change her signature style, even when her job was on the line.

The Queens native worked as a security guard at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center arena and claimed she was harassed about her hair until managers finally decided to let her go.

“It was ridiculous,” Bryan told the New York Post. “I couldn’t understand what they had a problem with. I would get compliments all the time from people at events at Barclays.”

The NY Post gives more details about Bryan’s story:

Bryan said she was first hired by AEG Worldwide in September 2013 and didn’t receive any hair-related reprimands until security supervisor Denise Brown told her last March that she “looked like she stuck her finger in a socket and was electrocuted.”

“At the time, I just took it as a joke,” Bryan recalled. “It was rude, but I just laughed it off. But it didn’t stop there.”

A few days later, security manager LaNiece Tyree told Bryan that she “needed to do something with her hair” and that she needed to “tame it,” according to the suit.

Bryan said that Tyree told her to wear a headband, but she explained it’d have to be worn uncomfortably tight for it to have any effect.

She finally agreed to the measure but said her bosses crossed the line when they demanded that she somehow fashion her hair into a ponytail.

“I told them my hair won’t do that,” Bryan said. “It’s sad that it even had to come to that. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate.”

Bryan’s discrimination lawsuit is working its way through the legal system. She now works as a mail carrier.

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  • yung jei de la meme

    I like how this is made into a race issue. The issue is that her hairstyle is deemed unprofessional and I don’t see why she’s getting upset. I understand she was insulted, but brushed it off, but she also had the opportunity to do as she’s told and either place a headband on or put it in a ponytail.

    It’s her fault for acting like an immature child and making a big deal out of nothing. As a black female, I’ve noticed that it’s difficult to accept Ethnic hair in the workplace still and we’re slowly being able to wear our hair in afros, braids, or dreadlocks, but she had the chance to keep her job by doing two simple things: wear a headband or pull it into a ponytail. Not file for a 900,000$ lawsuit.

  • Pingback: Natural Hair: Win, Lose, or Draw? Tamron Hall, Melissa Harris-Perry & Rhonda Lee | Afro State of Mind()

  • Tina

    I’m black and I think her hair looks horrible. She needs to throw some gel on it and wear a claw clip if she can’t get it in a ponytail. I can’t stand ratty looking crazy hair that looks unattended to. I just wish black women like her would take their frustrations out by starting their own businesses and creating a realm for other absurd looking black women vs. suing others for only making reasonable requests. That does nothing to create socio-economic opportunities for their particular kind and it appears very very weak.