despite winning outstanding employee awards.
Sandra Rawline’s hair turned grey when she was in her early 20s. She stuck with it, proudly displaying her shoulder-length locks with their natural silver streaks. “This is who I am,” she said.
But it seems that who she was, when it comes to grey hair in the workplace, was not satisfactory to her Texan employer. In August 2009 her boss approached her and told her to confect a more “upscale image” to go with her real estate firm’s move to a new headquarters in Galleria, Texas.
Rawline, 52, said she was told to come to work wearing “younger, fancy suits” and lots of jewellery. And she had to dye that hair – her boss even offered to do the colouring.
When she refused, the Houston Chronicle reports, she was fired within a week and replaced by a woman 10 years her junior. She has sued for discrimination in the Houston courts.
Rawline told the paper her hair colour had never been an issue until that point since she joined the firm, Capital Title, in 2003. “I was really working hard for them,” she said, pointing out that she won the outstanding employee award in 2004 and 2005.