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Maine Prohibits Hairstyle Discrimination

Effective August 8, 2022the Maine Human Rights Act is amended (LD 598) to specify that the definition of “race” includes traits associated with race, including hair texture, Afro hairstyles and protective hairstyles. Protective hairstyles include braids, twists and locks.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review and update their existing equal employment opportunity and non-harassment/non-discrimination policies to include updated language regarding the term race. In addition, employers should review and update their existing dress code and/or or grooming policies to remove reference to any prohibition on protective hairstyles.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.