please also join the new dreadlockssite 3.0 beta site at ww3.dreadlockssite.com
I had written one of these before but was unable to find it and was asked to write one again so here goes.
it will need editing of course.
to the employer (or prospective employer of)____
I am writing you today concerning your employees desire to grow (or keep) their dreadlocks and to keep them natural and healthy.
We understand as a employer you have a company image to maintain, however in countries that have a freedom of religion the company policy cannot contradict the civil writes of the employee. This does not mean they have to be rastafarian since dreadlocks are a part of just about every religion. and I know asan employer you'd never deny a employees right to wear a yamika, a burka or any other religiously required style of dresss or hairstyle. Dreadlocks are no different. In fact the courts have ruled over and over that dreadlocks are protected by law.
Keep in mind also that dreadlocks grown for religious or spiritual reasons are often required to be unmaintained (but clean) this means requiring the employee to "tidy up" loose hairs, to cover while at work, or do anything to force a uniformity can go against their beliefs.
Even in the case of dreads that are not religious or spiritual in nature requiring too much maintenance is harmful to the dreadlocks as an example, overtightening the roots to prevent loose hairs at the scalp can slowly cause traction alopecia and eventual balding, and can weaken the roots causing them to thin and break. Other forms of maintenance to control frizz, like using wax or crochet hooks come with problems as well. Wax builds up causung dreads to trap dirt and water and start to stink, and crochet breaks more hairs then it fixes so requires conbstant repair which makes them more frizzy unless you keep crocheting, which makes them weak.
I encourage you to enter into a dialog with your employee and come to an agreement on what they are willing to do to look presentable, although in the end it will be their decision as to what they are willing to do.
Furthermore I want to touch on reasons to let someone drad whether itsfor spiritual reasons or simply fashion. Dreadlocks are meaningful to those who dread, they give you strength, confidence and a ake your employee happy, and feel more like themselves. often in corporate environments individuals can feel a loss of self, everyone dresing the same, the conformity the indiviual becomes lost this can lead to depression and a feeling like your just going through the motions to get through the day.
gbeing happier and healthier and feeling like the individuality of the person is respected and accepted will make your employee happier within the work environment and make them want to stay and work harder for you.
if the employee on the other hand feels that they are not accepted or resp\ected they may slack off, or want to find a job where they ware respected.
ofcoure it is reasonable to require the dreadlocks be clean and if willing styled nicely or pulled back to be more presentable. I believe that if you have a conversation with your employee about what they are willing to do you can come to a reasonable understanding without requiring them to do anything harmful to their dreads to fit your needs.
thank you. this may just be very helpful to me in the next week or two :)
cool good luck
Thank you for this S.E. As a husband and grower of natty congos (baby stage, started using my own dreading method and going free forming for more than a month for the first time) I am having a hard time looking for a job (I reside in S.C.). Though there are laws that are supposed to protect the religious right of a person (freedom of religion as based on the constitution) the reality is that companies often times discriminate on the base of "personal" appearance. I have had groomed locks 4 times with each time lasting more than 2 years, this time I am not growing dreadlocks for style, and though I am a Biblical Christian, I have taken the vow of the Nazarite as in the Book of Numbers chapter 6. It is really hard at the moment for me to keep my head up based on the persecution of this Holy lifestyle and vow, especially when it comes to the right of being able to provide for my family, but God comes first and foremost, and my wife respects my decisions and knows my sincerity when it comes to living a life pleasing to God. We live in a hypocritical system, and anyone who wants to partake in the life of naturalness must understand that this is unfortunately something normal to deal with. I am fully bilingual in both spanish and english, almost done with my college degree in Computer Science with work experience in I.T. (2 years of experience, mostly on hardware related stuff). I learn and adapt quickly and have a very high standard for ethics, morals, values, equality and respect.
jobs are hard to come by in this economy just ksep trying you will find 1 you want to stick with
I'll keep this in mind for the future in case an employer gives me crap about it.
This is great and I appreciate you sharing. I was a little bit apprehensive about looking for work because our economic times can offer en employer the opportunity to be picky about who they hire. I will just keep my chin up and maintain confidence and hope for the best.
Good luck to all of you other job seekers out there!!
Thank you so much for this. I feel that there is a very widespread misunderstanding of dreadlocks, or better: Many people have given locks a bad name by waxing and having dreads that have the rotting smell. I'll be job hunting within the next month, and I plan on keeping this letter in mind.
Would this be something nice to have handy for an interview?
probably yea..a modified version anyway
I'm sure this letter has helped at least one employee possibly come to some sort of understanding regarding dreadlocks in the work place!
I'll admit that even though I have not had any problems getting or staying employed because of my hair, I am feeling slightly apprehensive about my plan to start looking for more gainful employment here in the near future. I have a BS in Physical Anthropology and I wish more jobs in a related field would open up. When they do, getting the position becomes highly competitive.
One of the options I'm going to look into is to apply for entry level positions at one of the local credit unions. Lately when I go into my own credit union I've been taking note of how employees dress and groom themselves. I haven't paid attention to tattoos and piercings yet. I have also yet to see a dreaded employee.
I'm thinking that I might just see if there is someone who is in charge of hiring that I can talk to and see what the company policy is or how they feel about hiring someone with dreads who will be in a position of contact with customers on a regular basis....
PRICELESS simply priceless