Air France steward wins 10-year fight for dreadlocks

PARIS, France (AFP) A black Air France steward won a 10-year legal battle on Thursday for the right to work with braided hair on flights after a decision by France's highest appeals court.

Aboubakar Toure from Paris sued the airline in 2012 for discrimination after he was barred from flights once he changed his hairstyle to have short dreadlocks tied behind his head.

For several years he wore a wig before being eventually suspended for not conforming to the company's uniform rules which allow women, but not men, to have braided hair in the cabin.

An unemployment court and a lower court had both ruled in Air France's favour before Thursday's decision by the Cour de Cassation which determined the hair policy amounted to gender discrimination.

The court ruled that policy differences towards men and women can only be justified if they are related to "essential and decisive professional requirements".

It said that "the manner of wearing one's hair is not a part of the uniform nor its extension".

Toure was fired by Air France in 2018, having suffered from depression.

Thursday's ruling is expected to open the way for a new damages claim against the airline, which was rejected by previous courts.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy