Virginia has enacted legislation (House Bill 1514) that amends the definition of racial discrimination to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and certain hairstyles. House Bill 1514 takes effect July 1, 2020.
Virginia's Human Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, marital status, disability, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
House Bill 1514:
House Bill 1514 amends the definition of race to include traits that are historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.
Virginia employers should review their dress codes, appearance policies, and training to ensure they avoid restrictions on hairstyles historically associated with race by July 1, 2020. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.