Texan Woman Fired For Refusing To Color Her Gray Hair

Nothing like a little workplace discrimination to end the day, right? A Texan woman claims she was fired from her well-paid job as an office manager because she refused to comply with her boss’s request that she dye her gray hair and dress younger than her age.

Sandra Rawline, 52, was a manager for Capitol Title of Texas for years until her boss suggested she dye her hair in August 2009. He also requested that she wear “younger fancy suits” and more jewelry to take on a younger appearance.

Rawline, who says she’s had gray hair since she was in her 20s, refused to do so. Less than a week later, she says she was replaced by a woman ten years her junior.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rawline has filed an age discrimination and retaliation suit in Houston’s federal district court — but the company she used to keep says her story doesn’t gel with what actually happened.

Capital Title of Texas said in a statement that it didn’t terminate Rawline because of her age or appearance, but because one of its customers no longer wanted to do business with her.

“Since the customer refused to work with her any longer, there would be no job left for her,” according to the statement, which did not detail reasons for the customer’s preference. The company added that three employees who are 64 years old still work with the customer.

But Capitol Title of Texas is, according to its website, the largest independent title company in the state. Surely if one client didn’t like working with Rawline, there were others she could have kept on working with? Rawline’s lawsuit is careful to point out that she heard of no job-related complaints (including the dissatisfied client) before or on the day she was fired. She was even awarded with employee excellence awards in 2005 and 2006, along with a promotion in 2008.

It sounds to us like Rawline has the upper hand in this case, but do you think she deserved to be fired for one complaint after years of exemplary service? Or was she fired because she wouldn’t dye her hair?

[The Houston Chronicle via The Huffington Post]

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