August 12, 2022

Volume XII, Number 224

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August 12, 2022

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

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.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 80
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About this Author

Jonathan A. Siegel, Labor, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Law Firm
Principal

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and counsel regarding labor and employment law with respect to various issues ranging from wage and hour law, reduction in force, WARN Act, discipline, leave management and harassment and discrimination issues. Mr. Siegel defends employers regarding different varieties of wrongful...

949-885-1360
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