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Oregon House of Representatives Passes Legislation That Will Ban Hairstyle Discrimination

The Oregon state House successfully passed a bill that officially bans hairstyle discrimination within workplaces and public schools.

House Bill 2935, now heading to the state Senate, will prohibit schools and employers from discriminating against cultural hairstyles based on someone’s race, such as twists, braids and locs. This bill won by a 58-0 vote last Wednesday, and was brought to attention through a Black high school wrestler who was forced to cut his dreadlocks before a competition in 2018.

People of color have been denied employment and possible future opportunities simply due to their hairstyles, as locs, dreadlocks and braids have been considered “unprofessional” within some workplaces. Hairstyles are natural symbols of a citizen’s racial identity, not something that can be changed through haircuts.

This bill has been passed in nine other states, including California and Washington, meaning that Oregon is finally following suit in seeking to improve equality within not only the school systems, but within workplaces as well. This bill also requires public school districts to include policies allowing students to wear religious clothing in competitive sports, while still abiding by dress code regulations.

Our law firm endorses all measures to make our society more respectful of diversity in our community.

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