New law now prohibits hair discrimination in Maryland
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Now that we’ve officially hit October, dozens of bills passed by Maryland’s General Assembly are now in effect. Including a bill that protects people from being discriminated against because of their hair. Under Senate Bill 531, Maryland employers will be prohibited from discriminating against people based on the certain hairstyles or hair texture that they have. The legislation specifically includes protection for hairstyles like braids, twists, and locks. As well as afro and protective hairstyles as well. Some Eastern Shore lawmakers say legislation like this is critical to ensure no one is treated differently because of how they look.
“We must ensure that there is an equal playing field and that equal playing field should be for all. It should not be based on the color of their skin or the type of hair that they may have,” said Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-District 37A).
State officials also say that if employers have set grooming or personal appearance standards in their workplace, they may want to review their handbooks and relevant policies to ensure they follow this new law.