CALIFORNIA BANS EMPLOYERS AND EDUCATORS FROM DISCRIMINATING ON HAIRSTYLES

Employers and educators should be aware that on July 3, 2019, California became the first state to explicitly ban discrimination in employment and education based on natural Black hairstyles. Several steps may need to be taken before the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act (the “CROWN Act”) amends both the Education Code and the Government Code to prohibit racial discrimination on the basis of traits historically associated with race, “including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” For those unfamiliar with the term, the CROWN Act defines protective hairstyles as including, but not limited to, braids, locks (aka locs and dreadlocks), and twists.

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