Lawmakers to pass a new law called the “Crown Act”. They’re addressing a problem within the workplace, schools, and other areas where Black women are discriminated against for their hairstyles, and their protective styles.
ABC news reported that lawmakers in California are currently working on passing a law called the “Crown Act”. According to ABC:
The so-called “Crown Act” would make it illegal for employers to enforce policies surrounding “race neutral” grooming or to discriminate against people wearing natural or protective styles — like braids, dreadlocks and twists — in the workplace or housing.
Senator Holly Mitchell who represents the state’s 30th Senate District, and also wears natural hair, is currently backing the Crown Act.
She told ABC that hair discrimination represents a much broader cultural issue especially with regard to employment, saying:
“There are any number of court cases that we’ll talk about in judiciary committee that will suggest it is a problem for employees across this country and across the state,”
Supporters of the crown act say it will help protect cultural identity.
If the law is passed, California would be following right behind cities like New York who also recently passed their own legislation which made hair discrimination illegal. Those found in violation of the law can face a penalty of up to $250,000, with no cap on damages, and would be subject to re-hiring those fired if it was proven that discrimination was involved.
Finally, employers may not ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black communities to promote a certain corporate image, because of customer preference, or under the guise of speculative health or safety concerns. An employee’s hair texture or hairstyle generally has no bearing on their ability to perform the essential functions of a job.
Black people, especially Black Women have been victims of discrimination since slavery until this very day. Black men and women were always forced to adhere to wear specific white approved hairstyles, or else they risk losing their jobs, or not being hired, or being excluded from certain areas.
There are cases where many last year, and a few so far this year where black children were sent home from school because of their hairstyles.