For many decades now, there have been laws in place designed to provide protection for workers against being harassed or discriminated against. Some of these laws are federal and govern the entire country while others are specific to an individual state. New York State has recently taken another step forward in its effort to proactively guard against discriminatory behaviors in the workplace with a new law that takes effect immediately.

According to a report by NBC News, the law specifically targets discrimination based upon a person’s natural hairstyle. It is intended to help people of color who may be more apt to be on the receiving end of discrimination because of the texture or style of their hair. In essence, such discrimination becomes almost one based on race given that the texture of hair may be a direct result of a person’s heritage.

Earlier this year, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights officially banned this type of discrimination at work, in schools and in public places. By signing the new bill, the Governor provides all residents of and employees throughout the state protection from this unfair treatment. The new law amends both the Dignity for All Students Act and the Human Rights Laws in the state.

New York is actually the second state to pass this type of legislation but it is the first state to have it go into effect. The state of California has passed a similar law but its law will not become effective until January 1, 2020.