A Multidimensional Analysis of What Not to Wear in the Workplace_.pdf

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333 A Multidimensional Analysis of What Not to Wear in the Workplace: Hijabs and Natural Hair D. Wendy Greene * I. I NTRODUCTION This article challenges a relatively universal judicial and societal assumption that employers’ enactment and enforcement of grooming codes are inconsequential to women’s access to, and inclusion in, American workplaces. Specifically, this article provides a multidimen- sional analysis of workplace grooming codes, shedding light on the comparable journeys of Black 1 and Muslim women whose hair and hair coverings are subject to employer regulation. This article attempts to fill a gap at the intersection of race, religion, and gender within the scholarly literature examining workplace grooming codes, which de- prive and tend to deprive women of color employment opportunities for which they are qualified. In doing so, I acknowledge that Black and Muslim identities are not mutually exclusive, as those who identi- fy as Black or African descendant may also be Muslim. Further, this * Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Development, Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. I am indebted to the FIU Law Review and Professor Kerri Stone for the invitation to participate in this wonderful symposium in addition to the law review editorial board for their unwavering professionalism, patience, and assistance throughout. Enormous thanks to: Ashley Rhea (Class of 2014) for outstanding research assistance and insightful dia- logue throughout the development of this article; Khaula Hadeed (Class of 2014) for her genuine engagement in and encouragement of this project; and Professor Deleso Alford for her construc- tive feedback on this and related articles. As always, I am grateful for my parents, family, and friends for their abiding love and support in all that I do. This article is written in the spirit of sisterhood; for, we are our sisters’ keepers. 1 Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw has explained that “Black” deserves capitalization be- cause “Blacks like Asians [and] Latinos . . . constitute a specific cultural group and, as such, re- quire denotation as a proper noun.” Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Race, Reform, and Retrench- ment: Transformation and Legitimation in Antidiscrimination Law , 101 H ARV . L. R EV . 1331, 1332 n.2 (1988) (citing Catharine A. MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method, and State: An Agenda for Theory , 7 S IGNS : J. W OMEN IN C ULTURE & S OC Y 515, 516 (1982)). Additionally, Professor Neil Gotanda contends that the capitalization of Black is appropriate as it “has deep political and social meaning as a liberating term.” Neil Gotanda, A Critique of “Our Constitution is Colorblind”, 44 S TAN . L. R EV . 1, 4 n.12 (1991). I agree with both Professors Crenshaw and Gotanda, and for both reasons, throughout this Article when I reference people of African de- scent individually and collectively the word, Black, will be represented as a proper noun.
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334 FIU Law Review [8:333 article in no way purports that the experience of Muslim women and Black women is a monolith, nor does it project that the course for
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