On April 13, 2021, Delaware Governor John Carney signed legislation (SB 32) amending the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act by:
- Adding protective hairstyles, which includes braids, locks, and twists, to its list of protected classes; and
- Updating the definition of race to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and a protective hairstyle.
Under these amendments, employers are prohibited from taking the following actions based on an individual’s race, including their hair texture and protective hairstyle:
- Failing or refusing to hire, discharging, or otherwise discriminating in their pay, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment; or
- Limiting, segregating, or classifying them in any way that deprives them of work or otherwise adversely affects their employee status.
The legislation took immediate effect.