Labor & Employment
Is Gray Hair OK on the Job? Civil Rights Lawyer Sees Risks, Plaintiff Claims Bias
Posted Apr 4, 2012 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
This poll ended on Wed, April 18, 2012 - 12:03:47.
Yes, I like my gray hair and let it show.
450 votes (50.51%)
Yes, but I don't like it, so I dye it.
206 votes (23.12%)
No, I don't have gray hair.
172 votes (19.3%)
Yes, and I dye it, but only because I feel pressure to do so.
63 votes (7.07%)
Gray hair is cropping up on runways, at work and in an age bias suit pending in Texas federal court.
Gray is becoming more fashionable, but 44-year-old Washington, D.C., civil rights lawyer David Scher doesn’t think workplaces will be transformed, the Associated Press reports. "I think women in the workplace are highly pressured to look young. If I were an older working person, the last thing I would do is go gray."
The hair color is an issue in an age bias suit pending in Houston federal court. Sandra Rawline, 52, says that she was fired after she refused her boss’s order to dye her gray hair. Rawline, who was working as a branch manager and escrow agent at Capital Title of Texas, claims her boss also ordered her to wear “younger fancy suits” and lots of jewelry. Her replacement was 10 years younger, the Houston Chronicle reported at the time.
Capital Title maintains it fired Rawline because a client didn’t want to do business with her, not because of her age or appearance. Company CEO Bill Shaddock told the Chronicle that he has gray hair, and "I'd hire a 150-year-old individual if they were worthy.”
ABAJournal.com: "Woman, 52, Says She Was Fired Over Her Gray Hair; CEO Points Out He Has Gray Hair, Too"