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Colorado joins California, New York, New Jersey and Virginia by banning discrimination on the basis of hairstyles

Colorado will be adding to the list of protected classes against which discrimination is prohibited “hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle that is commonly or historically associated with race.” Because the current legislative session has been extended due to the on-going coronavirus events, we do not know the precise date when this new law will take effect. It has been signed by Governor Polis. By its own terms, this new law will “effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 5, 2020, if adjournment sine die is on May 6, 2020)” unless extended by a referendum petition (parenthetical in original). Employers should consider revising their EEO policies and handbooks to add this to the list of protected classes against which they will not permit discrimination.