Every human being is unique in very many ways. With the exception of identical twins, no two people look exactly alike, and they differ in appearance from everything to height, weight, hair color and gender. Employment discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of issues such as gender, race, religion or age. There is another issue that is finding its way into the realm of workplace discrimination in Florida. That issue has to do with hair, not necessarily the color but the natural appearance of someone’s hair.
A state senator is proposing legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against an employee based on the person’s natural hair appearance. If the legislation becomes law, people with braids, dreadlocks, twists or similar styles would be protected from workplace discrimination. The senator has stated that he has heard from several people, in particular African American women, who fear discrimination if they opt for a natural look. The women fear it will hold them back in advancing in the corporate environment.
Specifically, people have voiced concerns that words are used to describe a person’s appearance that could be considered discriminatory. Employees voice concern that words being used to describe a person’s hair or general appearance may be code for racial discrimination. Words that are being used include unkempt and unruly.
Succeeding in today’s workplace takes hard work and perseverance in Florida and elsewhere. A person should not have to battle discrimination against his or her appearance in addition to that. If a person believes he or she is experiencing employment discrimination, a conversation with a knowledgeable attorney might be called for. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise the client regarding what legal options may be available.