New York Bans Racial Discrimination Based on Hair Texture or Style

By Edward Kowalski, Human Resources Director, Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions, a Council of Industry Associate Member

Both the New York State Human Rights Law and Dignity for All Students Act were expanded last Friday to ban race discrimination based on “natural hair or hairstyles,” including, but not limited to, “braids, locks and twists.”  The law, called the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, takes effect immediately.

The change bans schools and businesses from having policies on hair that largely impact minorities.  Supporters of the expansion say minorities often face discrimination that is cloaked as criticism of their hair texture or style.  Black women are reportedly 1.5 times more likely to have reported being sent home from work because of their hair.  Staff Line will be reviewing all Client addendums and all employers should review their handbooks and policies to ensure that any grooming policies are compliant and up to date.

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