California Senate Votes to End Hair Discrimination in the Workplace and Schools

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Last week, the California State Senate voted unanimously  (37-0) to pass Senate Bill 188, the CROWN Act which would ban discrimination based on hair associated with race.

Introduced by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, SB 188 aims to “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” (the CROWN Act) by clarifying that traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and hairstyle, be protected from discrimination in the work place and in our K-12 public and charter schools.

“Many Black employees, including your staff, members, 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,” Mitchell said shortly before the Senate vote.  “Members, it is 2019. Any law that sanctions a job description that immediately excludes me from a position, not because of my capabilities or experience but because of my hair, is long overdue for reform.”

The C.R.O.W.N. (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair) Act will ensure protection against discrimination in the workplace and schools based on hairstyles by prohibiting employers and schools from enforcing purportedly “race neutral” grooming policies that disproportionately impact persons of color.   Additionally, while anti-discrimination laws presently protect the choice to wear an Afro, Afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. SB 188 will ensure protection against discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Education Code.

The CROWN Act corrects an inconsistency in existing anti-discrimination laws by amending the California Government and Education Codes to protect against discrimination based on traits historically associated with race such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.  The Coalition, in support of The CROWN Act, aims to put an end to the significant injustices of hair discrimination that has spanned decades across the United States.

For more information on SB 188 ‘The CROWN Act’ click here and click here to see the legislation.


12 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, this is what you idiots are paying for with your vote. 20 trillion in debt. I’m gonna legislate bad hair laws. Geesh !!!

  2. You mean it’s OK for kids to have those “corn rows” which look like highways for cooties to move about! This is disgusting! Or some guy with what looks like moths have been chewing on his hair for months?

  3. This State Senator Mitchell represents the second worst area of Los Angeles in terms of crime.

  4. I seriously doubt that my clients would appreciate having someone with 8 30″ long braids whipping around to do business with. They also would not appreciate someone with a MOHAWK at the front desk.

  5. How about some kid coming to school with green hair cut with patches that look like he has the mange?

    • I’ve seen kids with row of short braids spilling down from their foreheads and into their eyes in such a way that they couldn’t see anything in front of them like the teacher, the board and where they were walking. Or ones with razor cut “designs” looking as if lightening has struck their heads. Totally distracting.

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