California has, once again, made running a business more challenging. Recently, California enacted a new law prohibiting race discrimination in employment based upon hairstyles. Almost immediately after California, New York enacted similar legislation.
Now California prohibits “Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”
So, if you are an employer in California, prior to January 1, 2020, you will have to ensure that any grooming policy does not run afoul of the new law. Furthermore, employers will have to train managers, supervisors and employees in the hiring process to refrain from making any hiring, firing, promotion or disciplinary decisions based upon hairstyles.
Do not misunderstand, discrimination based upon race is illegal everywhere as it should be. But, California and New York have once again created unnecessary burden and expense on business. A business that is accused of violating the new California law can expect the following: an order of reinstatement of an employee, awards of backpay, reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, hiring, transfers, reassignments, grants of tenure, promotions, cease and desist orders, posting of notices, training of personnel, testing, expunging of records, reporting of records, and any other similar relief that is intended to correct unlawful practices under this part.
If you are an employer, please know that Nevada is open for business … come join us!