Shreveport councilwoman introduces ordinance to fight discrimination against natural hair in workplaces

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – As minorities continue to call out racial discrimination in the justice system, a Shreveport City Council member is continuing the fight by taking it into the workplace.

Councilwoman Levette Fuller introduced a new ordinance during a meeting Tuesday that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against anyone choosing to wear natural hairstyles in the workplace.

Fuller says she knows personally how it feels to be looked down against or feeling discriminated against for wearing natural hairstyles. She also says there have been conversations with friends and family about the unprofessional look it brings.

“The way that my hair grows out of my head, my DNA, should not be something that is a qualification for a job,” said Councilwoman Fuller.

“What’s under that, inside my brain, is what you are hiring me for. and since that does seem to be something people don’t completely understand it seems that we are going to have to try to bring attention to it through an ordinance.”

This ordinance mirrors a similar one in cities like New Orleans and soon to be Baton Rouge, according to Fuller. It also shows similarities in Senate Bill 61.

Fuller says this sets a stage for litigation when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. The city council will not vote to adopt the ordinance until after June 8.

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