Encore Global issued a statement this week saying there was a “misunderstanding” with Thornton and that an employment offer was still on the table for him.
“Maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace where every individual has a full sense of belonging and feels empowered to reach their potential are core values of our business,” la declaración decía. “These values are key to fueling innovation, collaboration and driving better outcomes for our team members, customers and the communities we serve.
“We regret any miscommunication with Mr. Thornton regarding our standard grooming policies — which he appears to fully meet and we have made him an offer of employment. We are continuously looking to learn and improve, and we are reviewing our grooming policies to avoid potential miscommunications in the future.”
Thornton’s lawsuit is believed to be the first to invoke the state’s CROWN Act
, which went into effect in January
2020, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. California was the catalyst for other states to pass similar laws banning hair discrimination in schools
, sports and workplaces
. Hasta aquí, 13 other states have passed versions of the CROWN Act
, de acuerdo a Pew Charitable Trusts
Speaking at a press conference earlier this week
, Thornton said he was shocked when Encore told him he’d have to cut his locs because he’d previously worked for the company for four years in Florida before being furloughed in March
2020. En 2019, he started wearing his hair in locs
, Thornton said
. Being forced to cut them for a job was a
,” él dijo.
“I wouldn’t be able to come to terms with sacrificing my disciplinary journey and what it symbolizes,” Thornton said of his locs, which are often associated with cultural identity and racial heritage in the Black community.
Thornton’s lawyer, Adam Kent, said they were not completely satisfied with Encore’s response.
“While we are glad that Encore Global has acknowledged its error in denying my client’s employment due to his hairstyle, we have yet to receive a formal apology, or a commitment to changing the grooming policy that has had a disparate impact on African-Americans,” Kent told CNN. “I intend to engage with Encore further to determine if they will fulfill all the requests we have made in our lawsuit.”