California is the first state to ban workplace discrimination for employees with hairstyles that are associated with race, such as braids, twists and locks. California’s state law provides more protection than Federal law because federal courts have generally held that hair is a characteristic that can be changed; therefore, there is no basis for discrimination complaints based on hairstyle. California’s new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. Employers should review their handbooks and employment policies to ensure that it doesn’t include any language that violates this new law.
If you have a question or want to discuss any employment issues, please feel free to give Elizabeth Fritzinger a call.