NYC Issues Guidance on Legislation Regarding Hair Discrimination

Restaurants and bars in NYC may not discriminate on the basis of natural hairstyles or hairstyles associated with Black people. Employers will not be allowed to maintain policies that punish or prohibit employees or customer from wearing natural hairstyles (ie. cornrows, twists, braids, locs, Bantu knots, fades, etc.) or mandate that employees alter their hair through straightening, relaxing, or other manipulation to conform to grooming standards. Employers can still require the use of legitimate sanitary or safety hair solutions such as ties or hairnets, as long as the same rules are applied across hairstyles, not only for natural hair styles.


Cases of discrimination will be reported to the Commission on Human Rights, via 311, and will be investigated and prosecuted by the Commission in accordance with NYC Human Rights Law.