Suffolk County has followed the lead of New York State by amending the County’s Human Rights Law and increasing protections for those employees who express their identity through visible traits, such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles, and/or religious garments or items. The local Suffolk County law prohibits employers from treating employees differently based on their expression of a protected group’s identity through dress or appearance. “Protective Hairstyles” are defined as hairstyles including, but not limited to, braids, locks, and twists.
Moving forward, employers should take this opportunity to review their grooming and dress code policies to ensure that none of your attire policies restrict employees’ right to self-expression through physical appearance or dress.
If you should have any questions regarding grooming and dress code policies, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Written by Julie Sitler and Desiree Saad