FedEx Settles on Dreadlock Discrimination Charges

February 22, 2006 ( - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that Federal Express Corporation has agreed to a settlement in a case involving several former employees who were fired for refusing to cut their dreadlocks.

According to the press release on Spitzer’s Web site, the employees wore their hair in dreadlocks as an expression of their religious beliefs, but were fired for a violation of the company’s Personal Appearance Policy.

During the course of discovery, Spitzer’s office learned that FedEx Express had voluntarily addressed many of the concerns underlying the lawsuit. Most importantly, including revising its Personal Appearance Policy to allow employees to request an exemption from the policy based on religious reasons, according to the release.

Per the settlement agreement, FedEx Express will make further minor adjustments to its Personal Appearance Policy, better inform managerial employees about responding to requests for religious accommodation, and periodically inform the Attorney General’s office about its handling of requests for accommodation involving the wearing of dreadlocks.