Fired BP Executive Claims She Was Canned Over Ethnic Hair, Dashikis

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Melphine Evans BP dashiki

A former African-American BP executive claims she was fired by her ex-employer because her colleagues and superiors were uncomfortable with her ethnic hair style and attire, among other racial incidents, Courthouse News Service reports.

Melphine Evans (pictured) is suing BP West Coast Products, BP Products North America and nine people, in Orange County Superior Court after working with the company for nearly 10 years. Evans, who served as West Coast CFO of British Petroleum Oil Co. in La Palma, Calif. at the time of her dismissal, says she was replaced by a younger, White man after a “series of overtly racist complaints.”

In her 24-page lawsuit, she claims her supervisors told her she was the problem after complaining about the racial and gender discrimination she claims she was experiencing. Some of the alleged comments directed at Evans include the following:

“‘You intimidate and make your colleagues uncomfortable by wearing ethnic clothing and ethnic hairstyles (‘Dashikis,’ ‘twists,’ ‘braids/cornrows’). On one occasion, a BP representative went so far as to ask Ms. Evans ‘if she understood that wearing a “dashiki” to work makes her colleagues feel uncomfortable?’

“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 …’

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