Bloomberg Law
March 2, 2022, 11:00 AM

Circuit Split Fuels Debate Over Failed Hairstyle Bias Bill

Paige Smith
Paige Smith

“Hair must be worn professionally.” This is one example of a workplace policy that, depending on how it’s enforced, could be biased against Black workers.

“It’s a reflection of their own perceptions, if you will, of what constitutes professionalism, or appearance or grooming that they find acceptable,” said Wendy Greene, a law professor at Drexel University who has studied grooming code discrimination.

Greene and other scholars of racial bias say federal legislation is needed to state plainly that unlawful race discrimination isn’t solely referring to adverse employment actions taken based on a person’s skin color. Existing civil rights laws ...

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