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Banana Republic Fires Store Manager After He Tells Employee Braids Are Too ‘Urban’

Banana Republic fired a store manager Monday who allegedly told an employee that her braids were too “urban” and wouldn’t let her work until she removed them.

A manager identified only by his first name “Michael” made the comments to employee Destiny Tompkins at a New York Banana Republic, reported ABC7. The company fired “Michael” after Tompkins’ post regarding the incident went viral on Facebook.

“Box braids are not a matter of unprofessionalism, they are protective styles black women have used for their hair and to be discriminated against because of it is truly disgusting and unacceptable,” said Tompkins on Facebook. “There’s no reason why a white person should feel allowed to tell me that I can’t wear my hair the way that I want [because] it’s too black for their store image.”

Tompkins asserts that, in addition to the manager calling her hairstyle “urban,” “unkempt,” and refusing to schedule her for more shifts until she altered it, “Michael” suggested she use Shea butter to maintain her hair. The post garnered over 50,000 shares on Facebook.

“This week, one of our store managers questioned an African American employee’s braided hair style. Our team began an immediate investigation and the manager involved was promptly removed from the store,” said Sheikina Liverpool, a Banana Republic spokeswoman, to BuzzFeed. “Today we concluded the investigation and can confirm that the manager has been terminated from the company. Banana Republic has zero tolerance for discrimination. This situation was completely unacceptable, counter to our policies, and in no way reflects our company’s beliefs and values.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Tompkins for comment, but received none in time for press.

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