SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana legislature begins a new session on Monday and one of the bills they’ll debate would prohibit race discrimination based on natural hairstyles.
Click here for the bill.
Seven states have passed hair discrimination laws, and if State Representative Tammy Phelps has her way, Louisiana is next.
“I’m just committed to bringing a little bit of relief for hair discrimination said Phelps.
For this upcoming legislative session, Phelps has introduced House Bill 189, which would prohibit intentional discrimination in employment in regard to natural hairstyles.
“Just because you don’t understand the locs or the twists or what heritage it comes from doesn’t mean you can discriminate, hire, bring harrasment, fire, or just have chaos over a hairstyle” said Phelps.
Phelps says a 2018 story of an 11-year-old New Orleans girl who was removed from class because of her hair style initially brought hair discrimination to her attention.
“I cannot imagine 11-years-old and having to go through something like that, and as I stated earlier, it seems as if African-Americans are on the struggle again for some of the small things said Phelps.
The bill will now go before the House Committee on Labor and Industrial relations. Phelps says, if it eventually gets the Governor’s signature, the bill will open new doors.