New NYC anti-discrimination law bans limits on employee hairstyles

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Restaurants in New York City were banned last week from limiting or criticizing employees’ hairstyles under a reinterpretation of the city’s anti-discrimination law.

Places that ask employees to forgo hair extensions or cut their hair are subject to fines and other sanctions under the regulatory change, which was announced by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Employers are also prohibited from refusing to hire someone because of the way the applicant wears his or her hair.

The Commission’s reinterpretation of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is intended to protect African-American employees from prejudice in the workplace. But the new guidelines specifically address hairstyles, not the race of the wearer.

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