Honor Student Fired From New Job Over Dreadlocks

On the heels of a recent judicial ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that states employers can force workers to choose between cutting off their dreadlocks or losing their jobs, an eager teen was fired recently, not for poor work ethic or bad behavior, but for having the wrong hairstyle.

16-year-old Tyler House, an honors student at Rich Central High School in Country Club Hills, Illinois, was excited to start her new part-time job at the Marcus Country Club Hills Cinema.  According to House, the interview went well, and she even made the interviewer laugh, that’s why she was shocked when on her first day the manager told her she was being let go because of her dreadlocks.

“He called my name and brought me to the hallway and said, ‘Dreads are not allowed,’” said House.

The deflated teen then says she shook the manager’s hand and returned home.  House’s sister wrote about the incident on Facebook, with the post garnering more than a thousand times with some calling for a boycott.

House’s mother Darnetta Herring shared in her daughter’s confusion, “Why is it that dreadlocks are not permitted in your employees but it’s ok for us to spend our dreadlock money in your company? I don`t understand. They come to an African American neighborhood but they discriminate against some of us. I don`t understand it.”


Marcus Theatre, which is currently renovating the property after AMC Loews abruptly closed there earlier this year, released a statement in response to the backlash:

This week we learned that a job candidate at our Marcus Country Club Hills Cinema was turned away because she wore dreadlocks. Some have expressed concern, and their reaction has led us to re-examine that decision. Marcus Theatres operates in many communities across the United States, and our success is due in part to our talented team. Our associates come to work each day committed to delivering a best-in-class experience to everyone who passes through our doors. Effective immediately, no job candidate will be disqualified because they wear dreadlocks. We are in the process of reviewing our protocols, and will update them to ensure that they reflect our professional standards and commitment to recognizing the diversity of our associates.

The theatre’s policy change comes too little, too late for House who said she no longer wishes to work for the company.  Fortunately for her it doesn’t look like she’ll be unemployed much longer, a nearby theatre, the AMC Crestwood, has reached out to House offering an interview.