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Your hair shouldn’t lead to workplace discrimination

| Jun 30, 2021 | Workplace discrimination |

Racial discrimination in any form isn’t ever acceptable in the workplace. For some individuals, the discrimination they face may come due to the hairstyles they choose. It might also be because of the natural characteristics of their hair.

California has special protections in the Create a Respectful Open Workplace for Natural Hair, or CROWN, that takes a stance against workers being discriminated against just because of their natural  hairstyles. All employees and employers should learn about this law.

What’s included in the CROWN Act?

The CROWN Act covers many aspects of hair. This includes the style, but it also includes the texture and other features. In short, judging a worker because they have ethnic hair qualities isn’t ever appropriate or acceptable in the workplace.

Employers can’t include points in the work dress code that forbid certain hairstyles. These include:

  • Natural hair
  • Locs
  • Braids
  • Twists
  • Afros

In the CROWN Act, it’s noted that hair doesn’t have anything to do with professionalism. It goes on to note that society deems individuals with European features as more professional, but that this isn’t the way it should be. Black employees shouldn’t be considered inferior workers simply based on their hairstyles or the characteristics of their hair.

Any worker who feels as though they’ve been subjected to discrimination based on their hairstyle or hair features should learn their legal options. Taking swift action may resolve the situation. It’s also possible that the worker could receive compensation if the discrimination came with damages. Working with someone familiar with the CROWN Act may be beneficial for workers who have faced this discrimination.