California Becomes 1st State to Ban Hairstyle Discrimination

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California has become the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.

Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, a black woman who wears her hair naturally, says the bill hits back against stereotypes about what is professional in the work place.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed the legislation Wednesday. He says the viral video last year of a black New Jersey high school wrestler having his dreadlocks cut off in order to compete was a clear example of discrimination over hairstyles.

The beauty company Dove has raised the issue about hairstyle discrimination against black women and worked with Mitchell on the bill.

New York City has issued legal guidance aimed at protecting natural hairstyles.

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