BP Executive Fired Over Ethic Attire Told ‘Save it for Black History Month’

As a professional black female in a ‘white male’ dominated environment, we sometimes feel as if we have to conform or in Melphine Evans case, completely alter our appearance to be accepted, taken serious, and make other people feel comfortable. While there are do’s and don’ts to professional attire in the workplace, I also believe that beautiful natural hair should not reprimanded and I also understand the importance of staying true to yourself while being presentable in the workplace.

Evans-MelphineA black female executive at British oil giant BP is suing the company, alleging she was told that the clothing she wore was inappropriate, and should only be worn ‘during ‘culture day,’ black history month or special diversity events.’

Melphine Evans was vice president and CFO at two BP subsidiaries before she was fired.

According to the suit, filed with the Orange County Superior Court this week, Evans says that her supervisors told her that her dashiki and braided hair made other employees ‘uncomfortable.

Melphine Evans is suing BP Products North America, her former BP West Coast Products office in La Palma and nine individuals.

Evans was told, ‘You intimidate and make your colleagues uncomfortable by wearing ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles,’ according to the suit, as reported by Courthouse News.

‘If you insist on wearing ethnic clothing/hairstyles, you should only do so during ‘culture day,’ black history month or special diversity events/days. … ‘If you are going to wear ethnic clothing, you should alert people in advance that you will be wearing something ethnic.”

Evans’ supervisors and defendants in the case, Rita Griffin and Nick Elmslie, allegedly told her that they were terminating her employment because she ‘did not get along well with her teammates and colleagues.’

But Evans’ official 360 evaluative performance feedback reviews, completed by colleagues that were selected by Griffin and Elmslie, indicate that Evans was considered ‘a people person’ who ‘engages her entire organization and is sincere in her desire to ensure all are valued and heard.’

Check out Daily Mail for more on this story.

Well good luck on the lawsuit. That’s real shady how they gave her a great review and still judged her based on her looks. If anyone is uncomfortable around you, that’s their issue!

Do you agree with the lawsuit or feel Melphine’s style choices were not justified as proper business attire? Let us know below!

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CampusLATELY features national content on Campus Life, Style, College News, Entertainment, Relationships, Health & Fitness, and Career Development, written entirely by top college journalists from 30+ college/universities nationwide.

1 Comment

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    December 25, 2013 at 2:09 AM

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