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.