On March 3, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB 1514 into law, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act. The Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race.” HB 1514 adds to that and explains that “on the basis of race” includes “on the basis of traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.” Virginia is now the fourth state to prohibit discrimination on the basis of hairstyles, following California, New York, and New Jersey.
The Virginia Human Rights Act applies to employers with more than five, but less than 15 employees. Virginia employers subject to the Act should review their policies to make sure they’re in compliance with this new law, before it takes effect on July 1, 2020. Additionally, employers should make sure supervisors and human resources personnel are trained on the new law and any changes in employer policies.
For guidance regarding how this legislation affects your business, contact the employment law experts at General Counsel, PC today at 703-991-7973.