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California bans discrimination against natural hair

There is no reason for people to face discrimination in 2019, yet it happens every day. Whether you're in California or across the country, you have the potential to face discrimination as a person of color, due to your gender, because of your religion or due to other reasons.

Today, California has become the first state to ban discrimination based on wearing your natural hair. A June 28 report states that the state voted 69 to 0 to update anti-discrimination laws in the state regarding race to include traits that are historically associated with race, including hairstyles.

The bill, SB 188, was approved by the Senate and will be signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This is a landmark decision, helping African-Americans and people with certain racial traits wear hairstyles that are related to their cultures and identity. There has never been any reason not to allow cornrows, braids, dreadlocks or other hairstyles associated with race in the workplace, and now there will be no tolerance for employers who ban these styles without just cause.

If you wear your hair naturally and have been turned away from jobs or feared that you'd be viewed unprofessionally, that's changing today. If someone in your workplace discriminates against you because of your hairstyles or the texture of your hair, you have a right to speak out. No one should face discrimination because of the way they appear, especially with hair that is worn in a way that has cultural significance. Your attorney can help you if you're discriminated against based on your natural hair.

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