If an emo kid goes in to apply for a job and is told "you can't have black nail polish on and you can't have the crazy color in your hair" there's nothing he could do about it because it's not tied to race.

However if a black kid goes in to apply for a job and is told "you can't have your hair in dreadlocks" he will have an actionable case if a proposed law goes through since dreadlocks are associated with black people.

Yes there's a bill introduced in June that would make discrimination on the basis of hair style, type, or texture illegal under the state's discrimination law. What I find so hollow about this is our discrimination laws up until now have been over things you can't change, like your race or age. (One exception would be your religion, which is far more serious to change than your hairstyle so that's a moot point.) One of the problems with this awful legislation is it presumes a business having a policy against a certain hairstyle is simply about race when that might not be true. A white kid with a mohawk might not get the job either unless he conforms but there's no minority race to point to there. Proponents of this bill point to 'European beauty standards' as the ideal.

I'm sorry, not everything has to be about race. And guess what? White people have been known to wear their hair in dreadlocks, too. Ever hear of the lead singer from Rage Against The Machine? Zack de la Rocha is Mexican, German and Irish and known for dreads back in the day. Would he be exempt from this silly discrimination law?

A company should have the right to have its workforce present a certain image. I remember a training session at UPS once where a new hire was told he would not be allowed to keep his beard. Company policy. He said he acted part-time and needed it for a part. They said too bad. He walked. His right. Their right too.

If we start claiming racial discrimination for things that are simply styles associated with people of color, will this eventually mean a job will have to allow workers to walk around with pants hanging off their asses? After all, that's largely (not universally) associated with African-Americans.

It's a terrible idea and has already been made law in two other states. California and New York. Gotta love political correctness. What do you think? Take our poll below.

 

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