California lawmakers are mulling the possibility of a bill that would protect students and workers from discrimination based on the style of one’s natural hair, including braids, afros and twists. The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) would add hairstyle and texture associate with race to anti-discrimination laws in the state.
The measure, which was passed by the state Senate, now faces challenge, will now be considered by the state Assembly. The sponsor of the bill was quoted as saying that dress codes effectively banning “kinky” hair penalize African Americans for their naturally-occurring hair texture. Many black individuals – women in particular – have spent a great deal of money on chemical treatments that are both harsh and damaging in order to fit prescribed Eurocentric standard for what “professional” hair looks like.
Los Angeles race discrimination attorneys know that people who are black – as both employees and applicants – have been denied employment and promotion and even fired for the way they chose to wear their hair. Black children in schools have been made to feel embarrassed and ashamed because their natural hair was considered “unruly” or some kind of a “distraction to others.” Continue reading