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Let the Sunshine In: California and New York Prohibit Discrimination Based on Hairstyle 

MSK Client Alert 
July 16, 2019

Within the past two weeks, both California and New York have passed laws prohibiting employers from discriminating based upon hairstyle.  Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s “CROWN Act” (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) on July 3, 2019.  The law amends the state’s Education and Government Codes to define “race or ethnicity” as “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” It takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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