California becomes first US state to ban discrimination over natural hairstyles
California became the first state in the US to ban discrimination over natural hair on Wednesday.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace (Crown) Act into law, prohibiting employers and schools from enforcing rules against hairstyles including afros, braids, twists, and locks. Workplace policies that prohibit such styles have serious economic and health consequences, especially for black individuals, the bill said.
“In a society in which hair has historically been one of many determining factors of a person’s race, and whether they were a second-class citizen, hair today remains a proxy for race,” the bill said. “Therefore, hair discrimination targeting hairstyles associated with race is racial discrimination.”
Instances of people of color facing discrimination in school and the workplace over their hair have gained visibility in recent years, as a movement among black women to wear natural styles has grown.
In 2013, BP fired a top executive for wearing what one colleague called “ethnic hairstyles” including twists, braids, and cornrows. In 2018, an Alabama woman sued after a company required her to cut her locks to get a job. Also that year, a woman said her 14-year-old son was sent home from his school in Fresno, California, because of the way his head was shaved. And in December, a white referee sparked outrage by requiring a black student to cut his dreadlocks off before a wrestling match…….read more
Source: The Guardian