New York has become the second state to enact a law that bans hair discrimination. On July 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed bill S.6209A/A.7797A into law to redress and prohibit discriminatory treatment inflicted upon individuals with certain hairstyles and hair textures. 

For too long, people of color have been on the receiving end of related prejudices in school, work, and public settings. In a statement, Cuomo regardfully notes this moment as a turning point in the nation’s history.

“For much of our nation’s history, people of color – particularly women – have been marginalized and discriminated against simply because of their hairstyle or texture. By signing this bill into law, we are taking an important step toward correcting that history and ensuring people of color are protected from all forms of discrimination,” said Cuomo.

The bill amends the state’s Human Rights Law and The Dignity For All Students Act, making it clear that hair is also inherent to one’s race.

Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed The CROWN Act into legislation, making California the first state to officially ban hair discrimination. Last month, a similar bill was introduced to the New Jersey Assembly and Senate after a Buena Regional High School wrestler was forced to cut his dreadlocks to compete.

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