New York Police Department (NYPD) sergeants and lieutenants have been spreading the message to cops “Don’t discriminate against carrot-top cops!” In one of the most racially diverse cities in the world harassment of redheads will not be tolerated. ‘
Christine Quinn, the Irish American mayoral hopeful, quipped “The way to put red-hair discrimination to end is to have a red-haired mayor.”
She added “For full disclosure, this is not my natural hair color.”
Although, for many, this matter is taken as a joke and no cases have been filed by a redhead cop for discrimination the feds say that a claim over red hair would be supported. Under federal law a case such as this would be ruled by the same federal law that bars workplace bias based on race, national origin, skin color, sex or disability.
Famously, as well as working in politics and construction, many Irish for generations have proudly joined the ranks of the NYPD. Recent research from ScotlandsDNA project shows that ten percent of Irish have red hair and 13 percent of Scottish, with less than one percent in most countries such as Asia, Africa and South America.
One Irish American cop told the New York Post “We’re apparently victims now…We’re protected from discrimination.”
However Justine Lisser of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, DC said “It’s an innocuous-seeming criteria, but if it has a ‘disparate impact’ on a certain racial group, red hair could be considered the basis of discrimination.”
A retired NYPD cop recalled being “roughed up” as a kid and called a “red-headed devil.”
He told the Post “You get abuse every day when your hair is red.
“You get beaten and chased. You better learn how to fight.”
In true New Yorker style his message was “Toughen Up”.