Albany County amends law to prevent employment discrimination based on hairstyles

Albany County
Albany County Legislature

The Albany County Legislature

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany County Legislature amended a law to prevent employment discrimination based on hairstyles in Albany County. The law, Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN), amends the Omnibus Human Rights Law.

The law protects people who wear certain hairstyles including braids, locs, cornrows, twists, Bantu knots, poufs, Afros, as well as the use of turban wraps.

“With this law we are expanding the state law to include hairstyles that haven’t been considered. This has to do with race, specifically people of color and the hairstyles and/or wraps they wear, which have been scrutinized,” said Albany County Legislature Deputy Chairwoman Wanda Willingham. 

The legislature said that although state law already prevents discrimination regarding some hairstyles, other hairstyles worn by ethnic groups are still a source of prejudice that have had professional and economic consequences for people in the county.

“Unfortunately, we have heard complaints that individuals were being sent home because of their hair or because they were wearing wraps,” said Legislator Norma Chapman. “Employers need to know that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.”

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