Alabama Firefighter Fired After Getting Tattoo On The Back Of Her Head, Her Superiors Disciplined For Defending Her
Kay’Ana Adams, an Alabama firefighter, was fired after the division decided that her tattoo violates its coverage. In keeping with WKRG, Adams labored on the Cellular Fireplace Division Maryvale station in Cellular, Alabama for 9 months earlier than she was fired.
The firefighter acquired her tattoo in June, displaying it off on the again of her head. Adams mentioned she didn’t suppose she violated the fireplace division’s coverage, which prohibits “tattoos on the face or neck.”
“Hiring individuals earlier than, throughout and after me with neck tattoos extra outstanding than mine was additionally sort of impactful in that as properly,” Adams advised WKRG. “I figured mine could possibly be executed in decency and order. I may additionally, primarily based off the principles, cowl it up.”
Adams, nevertheless, discovered herself in hassle when when any individual put in a criticism about her ink.
“The subsequent factor I knew I used to be being investigated for it, interrogated behind it, after which they made their resolution that I used to be in violation of coverage,” she mentioned.
In keeping with Adams, town first gave her the choice to develop her hair out and conceal the tattoo. The firefighter mentioned she did as she was advised.
Just a few weeks later, nevertheless, Adams mentioned there was one other criticism about her hair being grown out and violating town’s coverage.
“We have now totally different textures of hair,” mentioned Adams, who’s a Black girl. “So, you don’t have any thought how lengthy it takes for my hair to develop.”
In keeping with Adams, the division modified the coverage three months after she acquired her tattoo. The brand new coverage prohibits head tattoos above the neckline.
When a captain at her station took a photograph of the again of Adams’ head on Nov. 10, the terminated firefighter mentioned her tattoo was now not seen. Nonetheless, Adams mentioned she was fired on the day the photograph was taken.
“Undoubtedly blindsided, I by no means thought it could come to this, particularly contemplating I used to be in compliance. I’m not essentially out right here making an attempt to be disobedient and I’m not breaking any legal guidelines or something like that, it’s only a tattoo,” Adams mentioned. “What’s behind me shouldn’t have an effect on the work that’s in entrance of me.”
Adams mentioned she wasn’t merely fired for her head tattoo and hair. The previous firefighter, who filed one grievance in regards to the tattoo criticism in opposition to her, believes she was terminated as a result of she spoke up about her issues on the office.
The Alabama girl additionally filed complaints about harassment and antagonization, together with sexist statements she allegedly heard from two male firefighters at her station.
Adams as soon as once more raised issues throughout a coaching session on the division.
“It was rope week and a good quantity of individuals and the opposite half of the classroom had been discussing, making an attempt to tie nooses,” she mentioned. “And, you already know, instinctively, I suppose I simply sort of stood up and mentioned, ‘you already know, if you wish to discover ways to try this, I believe that it’s finest you try this in your free time’.”
Adams mentioned she relayed her issues to Captain Jason Craig and Captain Rodrick Shoots, who’re members of the Black Progressive Firefighters Affiliation.
The 2 captains had been disciplined after defending Adams as she confronted hassle for her tattoo. Craig was suspended and Shoots was fired.
In an announcement to WKRG, Public Security Director Lawrence Battiste mentioned Shoots was terminated for “trying to impede a legitimate order from a superior officer, ignoring orders and utilizing disrespectful and defiant language to a superior officer.”
Craig, in line with Battiste, was suspended for 30 days for “insubordination, failure to observe orders from a superior officer and failure to analyze, doc and report a violation of MFRD coverage.”