BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Senate unanimously voted to make it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because of their hairstyle, a measure striking at tactics that have targeted Black people who wear their hair naturally.
Senate Bill 61, by Sen. Troy Carter, a New Orleans Democrat recently elected to a congressional seat, would expand Louisiana’s existing anti-discrimination law, which bars employers from discriminatory practices based on a worker’s race, religion, sex or national origin.
The legislation would spell out that prohibited discrimination on the basis of race includes hair texture and hairstyles such as braids, twists and natural hair.
The Senate’s 36-0 vote Monday sent the measure to the House for debate. If passed there, it would take effect Aug. 1. Several other states have passed similar legislation.