Ohio Man Claims Employer Told Him to Cut His Dreadlocks or Lose Job

Charles Craddock had just started his job at Cedar Point amusement park.

— -- A man in Ohio claims he was instructed to cut his shoulder-length dreadlocks or lose his new job at a popular amusement park, though the park says he resigned.

Charles Craddock, 20, of Cleveland, planned to work at Cedar Point, which describes itself as the "roller coaster capital of the world," in Sandusky, Ohio. He said he hoped to use his income to pay tuition at Cuyahoga Community College, where he's studying mechanics.

He completed orientation and moved into dorms at the amusement park last weekend, but he was told at a training session that he had to cut his hair, he said.

Craddock told ABC Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV that it took him four years to grow his hair, and cutting it would be "like losing a part of me."

The park's standards for male workers includes that hair can't be longer than their collars, there can be no ponytails or extreme hairstyles, and any twisted hair has to meet the other requirements, a park spokeswoman told ABC News.

Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards, in a written statement to ABC News, insisted Craddock was told multiple times before moving into the park's dorms that his hairstyle didn't comply with the rules.

"Charles Craddock resigned from his job as a food services associate on May 3rd because he chose not to comply with our grooming standards," the statement read. "Mr. Craddock was informed ... three times prior to moving into the dorms [that] his hair would need to be trimmed or pinned up to meet those guidelines. It’s important to note, we employ 5,000 associates and their personal appearance plays a very important role in Cedar Point’s overall image."

Craddock denied to ABC News that he left voluntarily, saying he was given paperwork including a "termination list" to sign, and he signed it after he refused to cut his hair. He added he would have complied with a policy to pull his hair back, if he had been given that option in the end.

He recalled being told once during an earlier Skype job interview that he could keep his hair if he pinned it up, as the park's statement indicates he was told.

"I actually asked her about it because I read over the guidelines," Craddock told WEWS. "So I asked her, 'Will it be a problem with my hair?' and she said, 'No, as long as you keep it pinned up when you're working."

But Craddock said a trainer later told him he didn't have that option.

"The trainer said I couldn’t pull it back. He said I would have to cut it," Craddock said, adding that his hair was tied back during the training session and the trainer asked him to let down his hair to check the length. "They told me I had to leave, because I wasn’t going to cut my hair."

Craddock said that about 24 hours after he moved into his amusement park's dorms, he left.