California bans discrimination against afros, dreadlocks
The student was made to choose whether to "lose an athletic competition or lose his identity," said Newsom.
"That is played out in workplaces, it's played out in schools — not just in athletic competitions and settings — every single day all across America."
Employers will still be permitted to require employees to secure their hair for safety or hygienic reasons.
New York City adopted similar legislation earlier this year.
What the law says
The law, she said, "means that psychologically and mentally people can be at ease and be able to get the jobs they want, keep the jobs they want, and get promoted at the jobs they want." California's new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, is significant because federal courts have historically held that hair is a characteristic that can be changed, meaning there's no basis for discrimination complaints based on hairstyle.