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NY expands racial bias law to include hairstyles, traits

July 13, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state has expanded laws against racial bias to include hairstyles and hair texture.

The bill aims to ensure no employee can be fired or passed over for a job because of racially biased criticism of their hair.

The change to the state’s human rights law, approved by lawmakers this year, was signed into law Friday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Supporters say minorities often face discrimination that’s couched in criticism of their hair texture or style.

Specifically, the change adds to the legal definition of race to say it includes traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and styles.

The change would also prohibit racial discrimination by teachers or school employees against a student based on their hair texture or style.

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