WILMINGTON, N.C. (Legal Newsline) — Minnesota-based
Regis Corporation, which does business as Smart Style Family Hair Salon, will
pay $90,000 after allegations of retaliation discrimination, the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced.
Two employees at one of the company’s salons, Hope Hunt and
Annie Mae Locklear, were allegedly fired for opposing what they reasonably
believed was an unlawful employment practice. They alleged a soon-to-be
salon manager told them that she did not want African-Americans working in the
salon. Hunt and Locklear then told an African-American candidate for an open
position at the salon they believed the manager would not hire her due to
her race. The company then purportedly fired the two employees, stating they had lied.
Alleged conduct of this nature by the defendants violates
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII makes it illegal to
retaliate against an employee for complaining about discrimination.
"Punishing employees who oppose discriminatory
employment practices violates federal law and only makes a bad situation
worse," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District
Office. "We are pleased that Regis Corporation has agreed to provide
training to its supervisors and managers as part of its efforts to ensure that
such retaliation does not occur in its workplace in the future."