New York City To Ban Discrimination Based On Hair

Written by Kecia Gayle February 18, 2019
Photo Credit: Flickr

New York City To Ban Discrimination Based On Hair

We’ve heard many stories where people have been fired from their job and judged in school or public place because of their hairstyle.

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While many people have gotten away with discriminating others for their hair choice, it will no longer be tolerated in NYC. That’s right! under new guidelines, which are expected to be released this week by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the targeting of people based on their hair or hairstyle, at work, school or in public spaces, will now be considered racial discrimination, The New York Times reports.

The law will apply to anyone in New York City but their main focus was towards the treatment of black people; the guidelines specifically mention the right of New Yorkers to maintain their “natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.”

The guidelines will also provide tips and give legal advice for those who have been harassed, threatened, punished, demoted or fired because of the texture or style of their hair. The consequences for violating the guidelines includes penalties up to $250,000. The commission can also force internal policy changes and rehirings at offending institutions.

“Bias against the curly textured hair of people of African descent is as old as this country and a form of race-based discrimination,” said Chirlane McCray, first lady of New York City. “There are too many places, from schools to workplaces and beyond, where the idea that the hair that grows on the heads of people of African descent is, in its natural state, not acceptable.”

New York City is one of the first jurisdictions in the country to implement these types of hair bans are racial discrimination, according to the commission. Ms. Malalis said,

“My hope is that other jurisdictions follow suit,”

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