California Becomes the First State to Ban Natural Hair Discrimination
On 1 January 2020 the CROWN act ( “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” Act) officially became law in California.
The act means that in California people can no longer be discriminated against because of the way choose to style their hair whilst in its natural state. It’s a problem that many Black people have faced in the work place and children have been singled out for at schools.
The CROWN act, legally know as Senate Bill Number 188, was passed last April with unanimous votes and was approved by the Governor and Secretary of State on 3 July 2019.
When first presenting the act last April, Los Angeles Senator Holly Mitchell said, “Many Black employees will tell you if given the chance that the struggle to maintain what society has deemed a ‘professional image’ while protecting the health and integrity of their hair remains a defining and paradoxical struggle in their work experience, not usually shared by their non-Black peers.”
The website regarding the act reads, “The CROWN Coalition is dedicated to the advancement of anti-discrimination legislation across the United States, starting with the state of California, and now in the states of New York and New Jersey. The Coalition and its members believe that diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors.”
New York, Cincinnati, Ohio and Montgomery County, Maryland have now passed the act and 12 further States are currently considering it.