The City of Pittsburgh as well as Allegheny County, Pennsylvania both enacted legislation banning hairstyle discrimination, effective immediately. Below is an overview of both requirements.
Pittsburgh has amended its nondiscrimination law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of hairstyles and hair textures commonly associated with race. Protected hairstyles include, but are not limited to, braids, cornrows, locs, Bantu knots, Afros, and twists, whether or not hair extensions or treatments are used to create or maintain any such style, and whether or not the hair is adorned by hair ornaments, beads, or, headwraps.
The city has also issued guidance and do's and don'ts for employers.
Allegheny county has amended its nondiscrimination law to prohibit employers with four or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of hairstyle. Under the law, a protected hairstyle is any characteristic, texture, form, or manner of wearing an individual's hair if any of those qualities are commonly associated with a particular race, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or religion.
Covered employers should review dress codes, appearance policies, and training to ensure they comply with the new requirements. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.