Local Story Regarding TMC

Topic 30540 | Page 1

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Rob T.'s Comment
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Here's a story our local news station KCCI ran with regarding TMC.

DES MOINES, Iowa — "This is something that is very humiliating," said Damon Mitchell, who was let go from a CDL training program at TMC Transportation in Des Moines all for his dreadlocks.

"I didn't fail out of school, I didn't do anything wrong. I was high spirits, I had high hopes and I went there ready to give this company everything that I had, with the best of my ability. And my hair did not have an influence on my job performance," Mitchell said.

Mitchell came from Texas to get his Commercial Drivers License from the trucking company, but he was told if he didn't cut his hair, he could not continue his training.

KCCI reached out to TMC Transportation about the issue, they said due to the nature of their business, employees are required to wear hard hats and have them securely fastened.

They added they enforce this policy with all of their drivers, regardless of race.

However, Mitchell says he was never given a chance to try on the hard hat and show it wouldn't fit.

"So how do you know that a hard hat won't fit on my head if I hadn't had an opportunity to make it through the training. This happened on day two of orientation," Mitchell said.

In Iowa, there isn't any legislation that protects employees against discrimination for their hair.

There was an attempt to pass the Crown Act last year, which would prohibit hair discrimination, but it wasn't passed.

Iowa Representative Ruth Ann Gaines says if that bill would have passed, Mitchell may still have his job today.

"We want Iowa to be a welcoming state, we don't want to discourage people coming to Iowa and getting good employment. So passing the crown act will certainly be one way of saying we accept who you are," Rep. Gaines said.

Mitchell says he now wants to seek justice.

He's still shocked something like this even happened.

"And this is something that keeps happening and it's always the Black guy with the dreadlocks. And that is baffling to me," Mitchell said.

Source : https://www.kcci.com/article/man-says-he-was-removed-from-iowa-training-program-for-his-hair/37096824 (had troubles linking it)

Couple things that stuck out to me is that would definitely make wearing a hard hat properly difficult and likely result in him not being allowed onsite at many shipper/receivers. To me its no different than requiring someone that needs a respirator for their occupation to keep their facial hair a certain way. Another is at most of these companies you're not considered an employee until you have your CDL in hand, much less your SECOND day of orientation I'm unsure about TMC. So the legislation that was mentioned would have done nothing for this situation. There was a follow up story this morning that he's in contact with lawyers in Texas to file suit for discrimination based on race. Racism and profiling is wrong regardless, but this is far from it in my opinion.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

TMC couldn’t be anymore clear about their grooming standards. When I went there we had a guy come in with dreadlocks. He was told on day one it wasn’t acceptable and was given a few days to get them cut. They also don’t allow crazy beards. TMC is a top notch company, but the founder is a retired marine. He wants his trucks and drivers to look at certain way. This man wanted to make this an issue. They make sure you know their appearance standards long before you leave for school or orientation

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