The ACLU of Kansas strongly supports HB 2044. This bill is long overdue in codifying protections for Black Kansans who deserve to live and work in their state without the specter of hair discrimination. Outdated, racially exclusionary, as well as Eurocentric beliefs about what “professional” hairstyles entail long have been used to discriminate against Black women and girls. We must act on this commonsense legislation to ensure that our statutes reflect the realities of this pernicious form of racial discrimination.
As the law now stands, people in Kansas can be reprimanded, sent home from work, or even fired for showing up to work with their hair in its natural state or braided or locked.