Growing Movement to Ban Hair Discrimination

Perhaps no form of discrimination is more discouraging  to African Americans than discrimination based upon natural hair texture.

Many employers have rules governing workers’ appearance that prohibit styles commonly associated with Black people – twists, locs, braids, cornrows, Afros, Bantu knots or fades.  Of course, such policies also affect non-African Americans, including Native Americans who wear long hair braids and members of religious groups who wear headcoverings.

There is a growing movement afoot to make hair grooming policies actionable under state race discrimination laws.

Faegre Drinker, an international national law firm based in Washington, DC, recently reported that seven states have passed bills outlawing hair discrimination under state discrimination laws –  CA, NY, NJ, VA, CO, WA and MA.  And, eight more states are  considering bills to outlaw hair discrimination: IL, MA, MI, MO, OH, PA, RI and SC.

Health and Safety?

Typically, hair discrimination policies are very broad but contain a narrow provision relating to health and safety. Continue reading “Growing Movement to Ban Hair Discrimination”