Defending Decency
And Civil Rights In The Workplace

Natural Hair in the Workplace

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Discrimination & Retaliation

What is the CROWN Act?

The CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) was first introduced to Congress in March of 2019. The goal of the Act is to promote equity and inclusivity within the workplace environment, specifically prohibiting prejudicial treatment towards individuals based on their hair texture or protective style. The CROWN Act would prohibit workplace discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. The Act’s protections include, but are not limited to, dreadlocks, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and afros. The CROWN Act protects employees from race-based discrimination relating to their natural hair, such as the denial of job opportunities or promotions.  Under the Act, an employee may not be reprimanded for having their hair in a protective style or choosing to wear their natural hair at their place of employment.

Status of the Federal Bill

On March 18, 2022, the United States House of Representatives passed a version of the Act, 235-189, seeking to ban race-based hair discrimination in the workplace, as well as those in federally assisted programs, housing programs, and public accommodations. The Act has since been passed onto the Senate, which will decide if it becomes federal law, amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Which States Have Passed a Crown Act?

As of August 2022, 18 states have successfully passed some version of the Act, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Maryland passed a version of the Act in February 2020, which included a clause that protected against discrimination from taxi services, cable services, and other similar groups. Virginia passed its own Crown Act on July 1, 2020, as well as D.C. on October 5, 2020.

Please contact our firm for assistance if you are a worker who is facing hair-based discrimination.  Freedman Law regularly represents employees who have been discriminated against or wrongfully terminated from their jobs.