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Vermont Expands Protections for Race

22 May



Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employersJuly 1, 2024

What happened?

On April 25, 2024, the governor signed Vermont H 363. The law relates to prohibiting discrimination based on certain hair types and styles.

What are the details?

Vermont updated the definition of race in its discrimination statute, which applies to employers of all sizes.

“Race” includes traits associated with or perceived to be associated with race, including hair type, hair texture, hairstyles, and protective hairstyles. As used in this subdivision, the term “protective hairstyles” includes hairstyles such as individual braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros, afro puffs, and other formations, as well as wigs, headwraps, and other head coverings.

This definition creates a broad set of protections for employees and has the potential for wide application, such as protecting dialects and styles of dress.

Business Considerations

  • Employers should review and update their existing policies, practices, and procedures, especially those related to dress code and personal appearance, to ensure they comply.
  • Employers should provide training to their HR personnel and management about the new law and its implications. This can help prevent any unintentional discrimination based on hair types and styles.
  • Employers should maintain open lines of communication with their employees to address any concerns or questions that employees might have.

Source References


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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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