Sunday, February 23, 2020
Kansas Fights Hairstyle Discrimination
Fact is, many men and women have been unfairly pressured to change their natural hair texture in order to conform the arbitrary and discriminatory "standards" enforced mostly against ethnic and racial minorities.
This bit of info is important because it reveals that the U.S. military has led the way in working toward hairstyle inclusion that preserves uniform requirements but breaks down useless stereotypes.
Here's a lot more detail on upcoming Kansas legislation that has received BI-PARTISAN support . . . Read more:
Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee to Work Senate Bill 250 – the CROWN Act
Kansas City, Kan. – The Kansas Senate State and Federal Affairs committee is slated to work Senate bill 250 on Monday, February 24, 2020 in room 144 South at 10:30 a.m. The bill sponsored by Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau mirrors legislation passed in California, the first state to pass the CROWN Act - Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair. SB 250 would amend the definition of race in Kansas state law to cover “hair texture and protective hairstyles.”
The bill was given a hearing in the Kansas Senate State and Federal Affairs Committee on January 28, 2020. Supporting testimony was provided from a number of individuals and organizations including the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, YWCA of Northeast Kansas and Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet. Although an initial hearing on the bill was held over three weeks ago, the bill has not yet moved out of committee.
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce, in written testimony submitted to the committee, said that such a law could affect an employer’s ability to enforce a dress code or even comply with some safety standards. Similar concerns regarding the CROWN Act bill passed in July of 2019 in California – Senate bill 188 – were voiced. California Governor Gavin Newsome noted in a press release “Employers would still be able to make and enforce certain policies, so long as they are valid and non-discriminatory, and have no disparate impact.” Jonathan A. Siegel, Founding Principal at Jackson Lewis P.C. and attorney who practices before the National Labor Relations Board, assessed the potential impact of the SB 188 on employers. When writing for the National Law Review Siegel says, “Employers can still generally maintain dress and grooming policies which require employees to secure their hair for safety and hygienic reasons in accordance with the law.”
The U.S. Marines, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force have all lifted bans on protected hairstyles such as locs, braids and twists. However, service members are still expected to comply with grooming policies when wearing natural styles.
There are highly publicized cases of discrimination based on hairstyles in Kansas City and nationwide. This legislation will ensure protection against discrimination in the workplace based on hairstyles by prohibiting employers from enforcing purportedly “race neutral” grooming policies that disproportionately impact Black people. If SB 250 is passed out of committee on Monday, it will be sent to the full Senate for debate.
As of now, 22 states have introduced or are considering the CROWN Act including Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois. CROWN Act legislation in West Virginia has been introduced but appears to be stalled in committee. Three states in the Midwest – Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado – have passed CROWN Act bills through committees, and House and Senate chambers.
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Developing . . .