More States Protecting Black Employees Hairstyles at Work
More states are trying to protect black employees who want to wear natural hairstyles at work.
Several states have recently taken steps to push employers, schools and the broader culture to move with them, and help dismantle a culture of discrimination experienced by black women and men who say they continue to face implicit or explicit pressures to conform, unwelcome comments or even outright discrimination.
New Jersey, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, among other states, have proposed legislation to explicitly ban race-based hair discrimination — tackling a remaining loophole in the law governing discrimination in workplaces, schools and other public places. California and New York were the first to sign legislation into law in July, and New York City issued guidelines on the issue earlier this year.
The topic has gotten attention from Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as well. “Hair discrimination is racial discrimination, and we ought to recognize that at the national level, too,” he said at Essence Fest, an event produced by the company behind the black women’s magazine.