Bloomberg Law
April 23, 2019, 4:45 PM

California Employers Couldn’t Bar Afros, Other Hairstyles: Bill

Laura Mahoney
Laura Mahoney
Staff Correspondent

Employer policies barring hairstyles such as afros, locks, twists, or braids that are historically associated with race would be illegal under a California bill approved in the Senate.

Under S.B. 188 by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D), employers could continue to set grooming rules as long as they are race-neutral. For example, employers could require workers to secure their hair for hygienic reasons or keep their hair neat and clean.

Mitchell said many purportedly race-neutral grooming policies disproportionately affect people of color because of the hairstyles they don’t allow.

“Members, it is 2019,” she said on the Senate floor before the ...