NYC will release details this week of guidelines that will provide legal recourse to those men and women who are penalized for natural hairstyles.
We've heard of the stories from jobs and schools who fire and/or suspend African-American men and women for adorning hairstyles that they deem inappropriate for the work or school environment and now NYC will lead a proposal that now makes it illegal.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights shares details that the change in law will now consider those that target people based on their hairstyle will be considered racially discriminatory. Why? because styles such as locs, afros, twists and all natural untreated styles really are styles mostly adorned by black men and women thus causing them to be unjustly penalized for their style of choice.
It's not only discriminatory, but socially sends a message that black hairstyles and looks can be governed and policed based on the comfortability of others who may find our expression of hair as offensive or inappropiate.
Cheers to NYC for leading the pack and allowing complainants to levy penalties up to $250,000 on defendants that are found in violation of the guidelines and there is no cap on damages.
Although, this isn't a federal law and isn't currently federally mandated, we support the continued fight for legislation to allow everyone to wear styles that make them feel their best and allow them to express themselves fully. It's the right thing to do.
It is important to note that the new guidelines do not interfere with health and safety reasons for wearing hair up or in a net, as long as the rules apply to everyone