Virginia becomes the first southern state, and fourth U.S. state, to ban racial discrimination on the basis of hair.
State governor Ralph Northam signed the House Bill 1514, signed House Bill 1514, which bans discrimination on the basis of hair. The bill clarifies that when the law bans racial discrimination “on the basis of race,” that includes “traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.
The law, which is in effect from July 1, comes off the back of the Crown (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act, which was approved last year.
The Crown Act “ensures protection against discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles” under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) as well as state education codes.
The Crown Act is in effect in California, New York, Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as in New Jersey.