The CROWN (“Create a Respectful and Open World for Pure Hair”) motion seeks to create a world freed from discrimination, harassment and retaliation primarily based on pure hairstyles usually related to race; this consists of braids, locks, twists, tight curls, cornrows, Afros, or head wraps. Some states, like California, have already handed a CROWN Act banning discrimination primarily based on pure hairstyles and textures. The CROWN motion just lately celebrated Nationwide CROWN Day on July 3, 2020, because it marks the anniversary of California’s passage of the primary CROWN Act. Federal laws is presently in committee and seeks to ban the identical sort of discrimination that California pronounced in July of 2019. Employers ought to take into account reviewing their office handbooks and insurance policies because the CROWN Acts outline a brand new type of race discrimination that will create legal responsibility publicity.
The Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC) issued steering on this difficulty in 2006 by stating that for functions of anti-discrimination regulation, race shouldn’t be restricted to pores and skin shade, but additionally consists of bodily and cultural traits primarily based on race. Federal courts, nonetheless, usually are not certain by the EEOC steering, and thus some have dominated that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination on the premise of hairstyles. The CROWN Act motion seeks to fill this hole by particularly together with hairstyles and texture as part of race in anti-discrimination statutes.
The federal CROWN Act (labeled the CROWN Act of 2019) was launched within the Home of Representatives in December 2019 and is presently within the Subcommittee on the Structure, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. The invoice seeks to ban discrimination primarily based on a person’s texture or model of hair and consists of particular examples of protected hairstyles. The act’s objective is to incorporate hairstyles sometimes related to race as a kind of discrimination, due to this fact stopping employers and academic programs from discriminating by their insurance policies.
California’s CROWN Act (SB 188) handed on July 3, 2019, commemorating the motion’s official Nationwide CROWN Day. The laws amended the California Truthful Employment and Housing Act definition of race to incorporate “hair texture and protecting hairstyles” usually related to race. The laws goes on to incorporate a nonexhaustive record of protecting hairstyles, equivalent to braids, locks or twists. The laws targets office gown and grooming insurance policies that will have a disparate impression on African American candidates or staff.
Colorado and Washington handed CROWN Acts in February and March 2020. Different states which have handed CROWN Acts embody New York, New Jersey, and Virginia (handed July 1, 2020), with CROWN Act laws pending in Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Additional, many native governments, equivalent to Montgomery County, Maryland, have handed CROWN Acts banning discrimination primarily based on protecting hairstyles. Alternatively, some states, like Florida, Kansas, and Wisconsin, have launched CROWN laws, however such laws has been indefinitely withdrawn from consideration or has died in committee.
The implications of the state and federal acts that search to guard pure hairstyles generally related to race name for employers to overview and probably amend their worker handbook’s gown code and grooming insurance policies. Many of those state legal guidelines require that office insurance policies be written to keep away from a disparate impression on candidates and/or staff primarily based on their race. Employers ought to take discover of their state’s CROWN Act and take into account amending their insurance policies to keep away from potential publicity to discrimination litigation.