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Hair-based discrimination may be taking its final bow

Buzz cuts, crew cuts, dreadlocks and big styles. People put a lot of effort into their hair, and many believe that a lot of their identity sits atop their head. A lot of people also include religious regulations or spiritual meaning in their hair. So, why are some businesses still trying to regulate hair as part of working conditions?

That era may be coming to an end with new laws that prevent workplace discrimination based on hair texture, type or style. New Jersey became the third state to institute an outright ban on this type of discrimination after a high school wrestler was required to remove his dreadlocks before participating in a match.

California and New York have already passed laws known as "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Acts," abbreviated to "Crown Acts." Michigan is one of a few states that is also considering this legislation as part of an update to its existing anti-discrimination laws.

"Unfortunately, it's all too common for African-Americans and people of color to be subjected to discrimination at work or school for wearing their hair in braids, twists and dreadlocks or embracing their natural curls," said one of the sponsors of the new law.

Hair style is one of many ways that workers or students may face discrimination, and none of them should be tolerated without a challenge. An attorney can help determine if someone's rights were violated by a workplace or school regulation and how to reverse the situation with a civil suit or a complaint to the appropriate bureau in Lansing.

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