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New CROWN Act : Open Workplace for Natural Hair

Published February 24, 2020

Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair: New CROWN Act. California became the first state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles as Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Senate Bill 188, also known as the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, on July 3, 2019. The CROWN Act recently became effective on January 1, 2020, in California. The purpose of the CROWN Act is to expand the definition of race to traits that are historically associated with it, which includes, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles. The CROWN Act further extends protective hairstyles to include, but not limited to, braids, twists, and locks. Because the CROWN Act applies in schools and workplaces in California, the Code of Education and California Fair Employment and Housing Act is expected to amend their policies. Furthermore, public and private employers are to amend and periodically review their grooming policies to be valid and non-discriminatory.

The law was proposed by Senator Holly Mitchell, who also drafted Senate Bill 188, to pave the way for natural hair and challenge professionalism and stereotypes in schools and workplaces. Prior to CROWN Act, the federal courts consider afros as a protected trait in anti-discrimination laws; however, they did not consider other natural black hairstyles to be protected as well. California is the first state to allow hair texture and protective hairstyles to be added to anti-discrimination laws. The CROWN Act is greatly supported by civil rights groups and Dove, a personal care brand, who also challenge other states to adopt the new law. Recently, New York and New Jersey already proposed legislation that is based on the CROWN Act. California legislation hopes that other states are also taking the courage to follow the goals of the CROWN Act.

 

Sources:

Bill Text. (n.d.). Retrieved from CA LEGISLATURE NAME NOT PROVIDED

California becomes the first state to ban discrimination based on one's natural hair. (2019, July 3). Retrieved from LATIMES ARTICLE NAME NOT PROVIDED

Campbell, A. F. (2019, July 3). California is about to ban discrimination against black workers with natural hairstyles. Retrieved from VOX ARTICLE NAME NOT PROVIDED