Ban on race-based hairstyle discrimination signed into law in Washington

Gov Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington is the sixth state to ban race-based discrimination against hair texture and hairstyles, under a measure signed Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

According to the Crown Act campaign, five other states have already passed with such a law: California, Colorado, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

The bill amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination so that the term “race” includes traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race, including hairstyles like afros, braids, locks and twists.

Under the measure, people will be able to file claims with the state’s Human Rights Commission if they believe they were discriminated against because of their hair.

The new law takes effect mid-June.