Effective August 8, 2022, the 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.