Hoping to follow in California’s footsteps, the Minnesota state legislature is considering its own ban on hair discrimination, according to the Star Tribune. 

The bill, called HF 3103, was proposed by Democratic Rep. Rena Moran and seeks to amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act by expanding the definition of race to include characteristics like “hair texture and hair styles, such as braid, locks, and twists.”

By including hair in the state’s Human Rights Act, this prevents employers and other authorities from discriminating against an individual based on how they wear their hair. 

Moran, an African American woman herself, understands the inherent judgement institutions make about people of color’s hair. With the combination of this bill and, subsequently, increased awareness, she told reporters she hopes that “people will not see us as different, or your natural hair as inappropriate or ugly — that it would be more acceptable.”

This ban, mentioned as a successor to similar ones put up for a vote in California and New York, is crucial in dismantling the perception that one must have Eurocentric physical features to thrive in this society, she says. 

“We hope that in the workplace that it would be part of the social norm for employers to look at an individual and be OK with the natural hairstyles that come along with who we are,“ Moran testified before the state legislature. “That braids or twists or dreadlocks shouldn’t be a determination about whether or not you are hired.” 

The Minnesota Commissioner of Human Rights, Rebecca Lecrero, is in favor of the bill and testified before the state legislature. 

Published on Feb 13, 2020