British Airways Employee Claims Discrimination For Sacking Over 'Man-Bun' Hairstyle

British Airways Employee Claims Discrimination For Sacking Over 'Man-Bun' Hairstyle

The world as we know it is grossly unequal. Bisect society by any relevant metric; gender, income, age, race and invariably you will reveal aspects of a deep and systemic imbalance that positions one group above, and at the expense of, the other. Imbalances like these, evidence of historic and deep-rooted discrimination, ought be countered and challenged by everyone so that their redress may be sought. However, one group who can in no way claim to be the subject and victims of discrimination - and I count myself among their rank - are the be-man-bunned. The man-bunned have not been subjected to prejudices, cruelties and a dearth of opportunities as a result of our (now profoundly stylistically irrelevant and unappealing) commitment to a hair-style.

Yet, Londoner Sid Ouared, 26, is claiming that he has been discriminated against on account of his man-bun. He says that he was fired from his job as a check-in worker with British Airways after he was told that his hair violated the company's dress code. However, this was not a hairstyle that he grew and cultivated over the course of his time working for the company, with the growing font of luscious hair billowing from his head eventually becoming an insurmountable obstacle for his continued employment - no, he had only been hired several weeks prior to his dismissal. He claims that at no point during the interview process was his hair raised as being an issue and that it was only after he was brought on that he was told he was going to have to cut it to remain in the position.

He said that he was told initially by a line manager that he would have to cut his hair before a more senior manager described his hair as being 'girls' hair' and said that if he didn't cut it shorter he would have to wear a turban or turn it into dreadlocks - the only exception for which the company allows male employees to wear any form of ponytail.

Mr. Ouared's comments on the whole thing are really quite something. He described British Airways as being 'stuck in the 1970s', saying, "It's ridiculous in 2018. There are more and more men that have the same hairstyle as me. There's 100% sexism going on. BA are stuck in the 1970s, their policy is very much from the 1970s, it's not conforming with our times."

While it is evidently deeply unfair to hire someone and then demand that they change their appearance - given that that was how they presented themselves in the interview - calling it 'sexism' is perhaps (absolutely completely) stretching things.

The fact however that it was suggested to him that he wear a turban or turn his hair into dreadlocks was however more startling. He said that a turban and dreadlocks are religious dress for Sikhs and Rastafarians, which we did not think would be appropriate for him, claiming "I don't even know how to put a turban on."


He said that his treatment by BA made him feel like a black sheep and that he "felt discriminated against".


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Rory McNab

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