The Washington Post quoted Professor Wendy Greene in an article on the rise of new legislation designed to protect African-American women from race-based hair discrimination in the workplace. The September 19 article, “More states are trying to protect black employees who want to wear natural hairstyles at work,” explores efforts by advocates and legislators “to help dismantle a culture of discrimination experienced by black women and men who say they continue to face implicit or explicit pressures to conform, unwelcome comments or even outright discrimination.”
The Washington Post reported:
Most related incidents don’t result in legal action, said Wendy Greene, a professor at Kline School of Law at Drexel University. Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming, and only a few states and municipalities “expressly prohibit appearance discrimination,” she said in an email. As a result, many lawyers will not advise that their clients pursue a lawsuit “in light of the restrictive interpretations of federal civil rights law” and the gaps in local protections the new laws are trying to fix.
Greene, an authority on race, gender, and the law is the author of a forthcoming book, #FreeTheHair: Locking Black Hair to Civil Rights Movements, which is scheduled for publication by the University of California Press.