Texas man says his dreadlocks cost him a job with an Iowa trucking company

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DES MOINES, IA – A Texas man says he plans to sue TMC Transportation after the company dismissed him early from its CDL program. Damon Mitchell Jr., before traveling to Iowa he said that he informed recruiters about his long dreadlocks.

“My dreadlocks were not in company policy. You have to have your hair above collar length … but that is implemented after 90 days after receiving your truck, you completed the CDL program, and you get your truck and then go on the road and start working,” said Mitchell.

“So I was not even given a chance to put on a hard hat. That’s what they claimed was the problem, but I was kicked out on day two.”

WHO 13 News reached out to TMC Transportation multiple times for comment on Mitchell’s allegations. The company did not respond to those requests.

Currently, there are no state laws that protect Mitchell’s dismissal from the program. “No, there’s no law that company has everything protecting what they did to this young man,” said Representative Ruth Ann Gaines.

Gaines attempted to pass the CROWN ACT during the last legislative session, which protects against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids,locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.

Representative Gaines hopes to get the CROWN Act passed in the 2022 legislative session.

“A lot of people come from more diverse states, and they are young, and they’re not used to being discriminated against, then he comes to Iowa, and this happens on the second day. I’m sure he’s devastated.”

In the meantime, Mitchell hopes the company will make its policies clear for

They need to make it a point of emphasis to what they don’t want, and they need to make a point of emphasis to implement those rules on every employee through all times.”

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