Search

Search form

House Passes CROWN Act Ban on Natural Hair Discrimination in the Workplace

  • March 21, 2022

Following years of uncertainty in the courts as to whether hair discrimination constitutes race discrimination, California was the first state to adopt a law called the CROWN Act, in 2019. The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” prohibits hair discrimination in employment and education.

Since that time, many states have passed versions of the CROWN Act, but courts have varied in holding whether hair discrimination is prohibited by federal law. That may change.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill (H.R. 2116) that would prohibit “discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin.” Specifically, the bill prohibits this type of discrimination against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment. Under the bill, hair texture or protective hairstyles, including braids, locs, twists, or bantu knots, would be given federal protection from discrimination.

The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.

This is a good time for employers to review their grooming policies. Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions about H.R. 2116, dress code and grooming policies, workplace training for employees, and other workplace issues.

©2022 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.'s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee. For more information, visit https://www.jacksonlewis.com.