LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to new workplace protections that would ban discrimination against employees based on their hairstyles.

The measure advanced on a 38-0 vote through the first of three required votes.

Sen. Terrell McKinney, of Omaha, introduced the bill to prevent employers from harassing or firing employees based naturally curly hairstyles that are popular among Black people.

Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a similar bill last year, saying he supported the intent but had concerns that it would prevent employers from enacting grooming standards related to safety, such as food handlers or machinery operators. Ricketts also noted that some hairstyles aren't exclusively worn by one race.

McKinney said he worked with the governor's office this year to address those concerns and help the bill pass. Under the current bill, employers could impose standards for workplace safety reasons. Law enforcement agencies would be exempt from the requirements.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.