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Understanding California’s New Law Banning Hair Discrimination

November 20, 2019

Many employers have come under fire recently for grooming policies targeting predominantly black hairstyles, such as dreadlocks. In response, California recently became the first state to ban hair discrimination with the Crown Act. New York City has passed similar laws as well, imposing a penalty of up to $250,000 per violation. Yet, there is inconsistency in the law with respect to this issue, as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Alabama, Georgia, and Florida) has held that employers may enforce a grooming policy that prohibits dreadlocks, despite a close cultural association to race. This is an issue on which few courts have spoken and upon which there is no general legal consensus. Join us for this engaging session where we will go over California’s Crown Act, as well and discuss variations that exist among state and federal law.


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