New York now punishes racial discrimination related to hair or hairdressing

In New York, the new legislation concerning racial discrimination related to hair is applied in the workplace (illustration). – Pixabay / rawpixel

The Human Rights Commission of New York City (United States) announced on Monday new guidelines banning
racial discrimination on the basis of hair or hairdressing. Once in force, this legislation will apply to workplaces and public places such as libraries, schools and nightclubs.

The text, the first of its kind in the United States, stipulates in particular that no individual "can force a black person to modify his natural hair in order to be admitted to a place". In case of non-compliance with these directives, it will be possible to seize the commission. The latter will have the authority to send offenders a fine of up to $ 250,000 (about 221,000 euros).

Seven cases of discrimination currently being studied by the Committee

The new regulation satisfies Chirlane McCray, wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Prejudices about the frizzy hair of African Americans are as old as this country and constitute a form of racial discrimination," she said.

"The rules that limit the freedom to display your hair naturally or choose a hairstyle associated with black people have nothing to do with a neat look or professionalism. But they represent a limit to the freedom of black people in their workplace, in public places or in other environments, "Carmelyn P. Malalis, director of the city's human rights commission, said in a statement. from New York.

Seven cases of discrimination of this type are currently being studied by the Commission. They involve African Americans who have been forced to tie their dreadlocks or fired because of their natural hair style.

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