The NYC Commission on Human Rights released new legal enforcement this week, a guidance that defines discrimination on the basis of natural hair and hairstyles that disproportionately impacts Black people, under the New York City Human Rights Law.

The guidance states that employers and providers of public accommodation such as fitness clubs, schools, nightclubs and youth clubs cannot force Black people to change their natural hair as a requirement to be admitted in or retain affiliation with those settings.

Discrimination on the basis of race in New York City has been illegal for decades. By issuing this guidance, the Commission said they want to reaffirm that such policies are rooted in and perpetuate racist notions of what is considered “professional” or “appropriate” in the workplace and public spaces and are violations of the NYC Human Rights Law.