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Racial discrimination based on hairstyles is not acceptable at work

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination |

Racial discrimination at work refers to any unfair treatment, bias, or prejudice against employees or job applicants based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin. It may manifest in various forms, such as unequal pay, unfair promotions, hostile work environment or wrongful termination.

Racial discrimination is illegal under federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as various state and local laws. It’s up to employers to understand the applicable laws and ensure that employees benefit from a discrimination-free environment at work.

Hairstyles and racial discrimination in Florida

In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the role that hairstyles play in racial discrimination, particularly for Black individuals who often face discrimination due to their natural hair or hairstyles associated with their race, such as braids, locs and afros. While Florida does not currently have a specific law addressing hair-based discrimination, several cities and counties within the state have adopted local ordinances that address this issue.

For example, Broward County in Florida has expanded its Human Rights Ordinance to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles.” This means that employers in Broward County are prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their hair texture, type, or protective hairstyles, recognizing that such discrimination is inherently linked to racial discrimination.

In addition, the federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may also provide protection against hair-based discrimination if it can be proven that the discrimination is based on race or has a disparate impact on a particular racial group.

Stop racial discrimination immediately

Racial discrimination doesn’t have any place in the work environment. Employers should have specific policies dictating what must occur if someone is being discriminated against. Employees should be empowered to speak up when racial discrimination occurs without having to worry about retaliation. Seeking legal guidance may be beneficial for those who are dealing with the effects of racial discrimination in the workplace.