BUN RAP: British Airways in sexism row after employee says he was sacked for sporting hipster hairdo
A British Airways employee has reportedly accused the airline of sexism after he was fired from his job for tying his hair in a “man bun.” The 26-year-old Londoner, Sid Quared, claims that he was told that he would be fired if he did not cut his hair as his long locks did not comply with the company’s uniform policy.
The former customer service worker with the airlines said that one of his bosses called him and told him his hair looks “like a girl’s hair.” “They basically said, 'cut it, put it in a turban like a Sikh, or turn it into dreadlocks like a Rastafarian. I am not any of those things and I can't believe that they would make me wear my hair like something that I am not,” Quared said, according to the Daily Mail.
Quared, who also used to check in luggage at the Heathrow airport, was reportedly terminated from his position at the airlines, just two weeks into the job. He slammed the British Airways for their actions and said that the company was “stuck in the 1970s” for firing him over his hairstyle.
The 26-year-old added that he was discriminated by the company for having a hairstyle which is considered appropriate for women but not for men, reports state.
“I was told I can't have my hair in a bun because only women can have their hair in a bun. So because I'm not a female, I wasn't permitted to have my hair in that style. It was absolute sexism. I was even told by a member of management at BA, 'your hair is like a girl's hair',” Quared said.
“Thousands of women who work for BA and who worked alongside me had their hair exactly like mine. Yet I'm discriminated against for it,” he added.
The former employee at the airlines also added that his hairstyle was not questioned when he was being recruited by the company, which was a “long” process.
The airlines uniform policy reportedly states that men are permitted to have ponytails only to “secure dreadlocks.” However, women are permitted varied hairstyles, including buns, single plait and a ponytail.
An employment law expert at ELAS, Emma O’Leary, said that there should be an equality between men and women when it comes to the dress codes of a firm.
“The company would need to justify why a man could not have long hair and be tied back in the same way that a woman can,” O’Leary said.