New Mexico has enacted legislation (House Bill 29) that amends the state's Human Rights Act to prohibit hairstyle discrimination in the workplace. House Bill 29 is effective immediately.
The New Mexico Human Rights Act prohibits employers with four or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, national origin, and ancestry, among other characteristics.
House Bill 29:
House Bill 29 amends the Human Rights Act to prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, length of hair, protective hairstyles or cultural or religious headdresses.
Under the law, protective hairstyles include braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, afros, weaves, wigs, or headwraps. Additionally, cultural or religious headdresses include hijabs, head wraps, or other headdresses used as part of an individual's personal cultural or religious beliefs.
New Mexico employers should review their dress codes, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with House Bill 29. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.