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Maryland County May Ban Discrimination Based On Hair Style

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Discrimination based on hair styles typically associated with race would be illegal, under a proposal that's being considered in Montgomery County.

News outlets report the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday heard from people who say they have been told to wear their hair in specific styles to avoid appearing "unprofessional" or "distracting." Residents said they often feel pressured to abide by "Eurocentric standards of beauty."

The law would bar the majority-minority suburb from discriminating against hairstyles including braids, locks, Afros, curls and twists. Violators would face a fine of up to $5,000. The director of the county's human rights office, Jim Stowe, says it hasn't handled any hair cases this past year.

A vote on the bill is set for this fall. New York and California have passed similar legislation.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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