New York, NY: Commission Publishes Enforcement Guide on Hair-Based Race Discrimination


All Employers with New York, NY Employees


February 18, 2019


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The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) protects individuals from discrimination based upon hairstyles associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural identities.  In February, the Commission tasked with enforcement of the NYCHRL published guidance on these protections. Specifically, hair-based discrimination is defined as a subset of race discrimination, pointing to historical bans on natural hair or hairstyles typically associated with the Black community (e.g., afros, cornrows, locs, etc.).  Employers should beware of dress and grooming policies that (intentionally or unintentionally) violate this right.  The guidance provides examples of unlawful grooming requirements, including:

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