Connecticut Becomes Eighth State To Ban Natural Hair Discrimination
The CROWN Act Has Now Passed In Eight States
Hair discrimination is now banned in eight states with Connecticut passing the CROWN Act on March 3. Laws banning hair discrimination have become front page news as businesses move towards more diverse and inclusive work cultures. Now, similar legislation is being introduced in states such as Texas, Florida and North Carolina, following states like California, which first passed the bill in 2019.
“We have been dealing with an antiquated idea of professionalism, that’s based on Eurocentric ideals and it’s important that we work towards updating this outdated definition of what it means to be professional,” Florida Rep. Kamia Brown told News 6. A statewide version of the CROWN Act did not pass last year, but Rep. Brown is hoping to pass a supplemental bill in 2021.
Counties have become passing their own local legislation as well. On March 24, Ingham County—home to the city of Lansing, Michigan—passed legislation banning hair discrimination for employees, protecting more than 1,000 workers.
In Orange County, North Carolina, hair discrimination is now protected for styles based on race, religion or national origin. Other NC counties, including Durham and Greensboro, have also passed similar legislation. A statewide bill that would mirror protections in the CROWN Act was introduced to North Carolina state legislators in February.
Black women with natural hairstyles are less likely to get job interviews than white females or Black women with straightened hair, a 2020 study by the Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business found. According to thecrownact.com, Black women are 80 percent more likely to alter their natural hair in order to fit in at their workplace.
States that have passed versions of the CROWN Act include:
- California: passed in 2019
- Colorado: passed in 2020
- Connecticut: signed in 2021
- Maryland: effective in 2020
- New Jersey: signed in 2019
- New York: signed in 2019
- Virginia: signed in 2020 (The first Southern state to pass anti-discrimination legislation protecting natural hair.)
- Washington: signed in 2020
The United State House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act in September of 2020, but the bill has stalled in the U.S. Senate. If passed, discrimination against natural hair and hairstyles would be banned nationwide.
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