Banana Republic manager in NY sent employee home over braids that were too ‘urban,’ woman says

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A manager at a Banana Republic in New York has been fired for sending an employee home because her braids were too “urban.”

Destiny Tompkins wrote about the act of “blatant racism and discrimination” on her Facebook page last Wednesday.

The manager, only identified as Michael, asked to speak to Tompkins about the store’s dress code after a district manager visited the Westchester Mall location, she wrote.

He said her braids were too “urban” and “unkempt” for Banana Republic’s image, Tompkins recalled.

She then went on to tell him the style protected her hair from becoming brittle in the cold weather, and he combatted by saying she should use shea butter instead.

“I have never been so humiliated and degraded in my life by a white person. In that moment, I felt so uncomfortable and overwhelmed that I didn’t even finish my work shift and ended up leaving,” Tompkins wrote.

She continued, “Box braids are not a matter of unprofessionalism, they are protective styles black women have used for their hair and to be discriminated against because of it is truly disgusting and unacceptable.”

The manager has since been terminated from the company, Banana Republic officials confirmed Monday.

“BananaRepublic has zero tolerance for discrimination. This situation was completely unacceptable, counter to our policies, and in no way reflects our company’s beliefs and values,” the company said in part.

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