The measure amends the state’s human rights law and the Dignity For All Students Act to add new sections on the definition of race, including “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles.”
“For much of our nation’s history, people of color – particularly women – have been marginalized and discriminated against simply because of their hair style or texture,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “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.”
The measure will take effect immediately.
“The way one chooses to wear their hair should be legally protected and supported – and in New York, now it will be,” said Sen. Jamaal Bailey, one of the sponsors of the bill in the Legislature. “I thank Governor Cuomo for supporting and signing this bill that makes New York State a leader when it comes to ending racial discrimination based upon natural hair and hairstyles.”