California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill last week, making CA the first state in the United States to ban racial discrimination based on natural hair.
Senate Bill 188, the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair [CROWN] Act addresses unfair policies that target women and people of color
Set forth by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the CROWN Act is the first of it's kind for racial discrimination legislation on hair style.
Governor Newsom commented on the bill after signing took place, saying "In California, we celebrate the contributions of everyone - no matter where they are from, who they love, what language they speak, and, thanks to Senator Mitchell no matter how they wear their hair"
The new law amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Education code to prohibit unfair grooming policies. Employers may still make and enforce policies so long as they are valid and non-discriminatory. Examples of this would be requiring employees to manage their hair for safety or hygienic reasons.
Legislators that supported the bill applauded it's focus on inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Around the US, work and school grooming policies often deem natural hair such as afros, braids, or dreadlocks as unprofessional. This bill protects workers whilst enabling people of color keep their natural hair style without fear.
California is the first state to approve this kind of racial discrimination protection with employees hair, though similar legislation is being proposed in states such as New York, and New Jersey. New York City banned hair discrimination in February as well.
For more information on the new bill, or if you would like to speak to an attorney about racial discrimination, call Younessi Law - (323) 777-7777