HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4497        FILED ON: 9/18/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4295

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Steven Ultrino

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Date Added:

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

9/18/2019

Maria Duaime Robinson

6th Middlesex

9/18/2019

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

9/18/2019

Jack Patrick Lewis

7th Middlesex

9/19/2019

Nick Collins

First Suffolk

9/19/2019

Tram T. Nguyen

18th Essex

9/19/2019

Bud L. Williams

11th Hampden

9/19/2019

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

9/19/2019

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

9/19/2019

Marcos A. Devers

16th Essex

9/20/2019

Michelle L. Ciccolo

15th Middlesex

9/20/2019

John Barrett, III

1st Berkshire

9/23/2019

Liz Miranda

5th Suffolk

9/23/2019

Christine P. Barber

34th Middlesex

9/23/2019

David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf

17th Worcester

9/23/2019

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

9/24/2019

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

9/24/2019

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

9/25/2019

Natalie M. Higgins

4th Worcester

9/25/2019

Gerard J. Cassidy

9th Plymouth

9/25/2019

Lindsay N. Sabadosa

1st Hampshire

9/25/2019

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

9/25/2019

Chynah Tyler

7th Suffolk

9/25/2019

Carmine Lawrence Gentile

13th Middlesex

9/25/2019

Nika C. Elugardo

15th Suffolk

9/25/2019

Tami L. Gouveia

14th Middlesex

9/25/2019

Andres X. Vargas

3rd Essex

9/25/2019

Carlos González

10th Hampden

9/25/2019

Paul J. Donato

35th Middlesex

9/26/2019

Rebecca L. Rausch

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex

9/26/2019

 



HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4497        FILED ON: 9/18/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4295

By Mr. Ultrino of Malden, a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Steven Ultrino and others for legislation to prohibit discrimination based on natural hairstyles.  The Judiciary.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
(2019-2020)

_______________

 

An Act prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1: The General Court hereby finds and declares that:

(i) natural hairstyle is a physical trait central to individual dignity, autonomy and personhood;

(ii) targeting a person’s natural hair and hairstyle associated with their race is racial discrimination;

(iii) discrimination against Black students, employees and persons participating in public accommodations because of their hair texture and the way in which their hair grows and is styled is illegal discrimination; and

(iv) examples of illegal discrimination under this act include:

(1) A public or private school that has a policy prohibiting locs or braids.

(2) An employer that requires African American women job applicants for telephone customer service positions to cut their locs for the stated reason they “tend to get messy.”

(3) A school athletic event that prohibits a Black student athlete with locs from participating in an athletic competition because his hair is below his shoulders, but allows white student-athletes with long hair to tie their hair up.

(4) A charter school that informs a Black student that she must change her braided hair extensions because it is a “distraction” in the classroom.

(5) A hair salon that advertises and charges a higher price for hair services for African American women with “black hair”.

(6) A nightclub that tells a patron he is not welcome because his natural hairstyle does not meet their dress code.

SECTION 2. Section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following clause:-

Sixty-second, “Natural hairstyle”, shall mean natural hair and protective hairstyles, which shall include, but not be limited to protective hairstyles such as braids, locs , twists and other formations.

SECTION 3. Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after section 1C the following section:-

Section 1D. No school district, school committee, public school or nonsectarian school shall adopt or implement a policy or code that impairs or prohibits natural hairstyles.

The department of elementary and secondary education shall provide written guidance for the administration of this section.

SECTION 4. Paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of section 37O of said chapter 71, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 137, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 5. Subsection 6 of section 3 of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 17, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 6. Subsection 9 of said section 3 of said chapter 151B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 63, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 7. Subsection 1 of section 4 of said chapter 151B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 3, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 8. Subsection 3 of said section 4 of said chapter 151B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in lines 201 and 209, each time it appears, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 9. Section 92A of chapter 272 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 9, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 10. Section 98 of said chapter 272, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “color”, in line 2, the following words:- , natural hairstyle.

SECTION 11. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination shall adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulations or formulate policies and make recommendations to effectuate the purposes of sections 5 to 8, inclusive and sections 9 and 10.

SECTION 12. Notwithstanding and general or special law to the contrary, in addition to any other remedy or claim for relief provided for under law, the attorney general may, pursuant to sections 11H to 11J, inclusive, of chapter 12 of the General Laws, bring a civil action for injunctive or other appropriate equitable relief in order to protect the exercise of the rights secured in this act.