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Q: I heard New York prohibits employers from discriminating based on hairstyle. What does that mean?
A: In July 2019, New York State passed legislation that amended the definition of race under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” “Protective hairstyles” include, but are not limited to, braids, locks, and twists. The legislation became effective upon signing.