Black BP Executive Allegedly Fired Over Braided Hair and Ethnic Clothing

Melphine Evans

*Add this to the list of job firings that occur for no good reason.

The folks at The Huffington Post report that a lawsuit is coming to BP (British Petroleum Oil Co.) from Melphine Evans, a black former executive at the oil company. Evans is suing BP for allegedly firing her because of… get this… her braided hair and “ethnic” attire.

She is seeking unspecified damages for race and gender discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Among the remarks found in Evans’ 24-page lawsuit, which was filed in California’s Orange County Superior Court, lists the following among the racially charged remarks she endured at BP:

“‘You intimidate and make your colleagues uncomfortable by wearing ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles (Dashikis, twists, braids/cornrows).”

“If you insist on wearing ethnic clothing/hairstyles-you should only do so during ‘culture day,’ black history month or special diversity events/days.'”

“If you are going to wear ethnic clothing, you should alert people in advance that you will be wearing something ethnic …”

Although BP executives claim that Evans was fired because she “did not get along well with her teammates and colleagues” and that she regularly engaged in “bullying and overly aggressive behavior,” the former executive’s yearly evaluation tells a different story.

“Melphine is a people person. She engages her entire organization and is sincere in her desire to ensure all are valued and heard,” the evaluation stated.

When asked about Evans’ situation, BP spokesman Scott Dean was less than forthcoming with any information.

“Generally, BP does not publicly discuss personnel issues,” he told Courthouse News Service. “However, BP treats all employees fairly. BP disagrees with the claims and will vigorously defend the suit.”

Read more on Evans case at Courthouse News.

 

(Black BP Executive Allegedly Fired Over Braided Hair and Ethnic Clothing )