DISCRIMINATION BASED ON NATURAL HAIRSTYLE

Under the FEHA, it’s unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race — and SB 188 expands the law to prohibit discrimination against employees and students based on their natural hairstyles.  Per the bill, workplace dress codes and grooming policies that prohibit certain hairstyles can have a disparate impact on race and may be a proxy for racial discrimination.

The bill specifically amends the definition of “race” under the FEHA and the California Education Code to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles,” such as “braids, locks, and twists.”

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