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California Act protects natural hair against discrimination

One thing that has been a problem in some workplaces is a kind of discrimination against hair. When it comes down to it, the hair isn't the problem. The problem is that some employers are racist, asking people of other races to change their hair from a natural form to something that they believe is more appropriate (with no justification for believing this).

Senator Holly Mitchell created SB 188, which will create the CROWN Act. This would make a respectful, and open, workplace environment for those with natural hair. That act would also clarify that certain hair traits associated with race would be protected against discrimination and in schools across the state.

Did you know that there are always anti-discrimination laws in place for hair in California?

One of those laws protects afros, but they're not the only way that Black hair is represented. The Act aims to address discrimination and to protect against discrimination based on hairstyle regardless of race.

Initially, this bill did draw attention and concern because certain hairstyles could pose a safety risk, especially when hairstyles were long. The senator clarified to state that the bill wouldn't prevent safety measures from being taken in workplaces, and employers would still be able to establish grooming standards so long as they did reasonably apply to the position.

SB 188 is among the first acts to outright protect hair of certain colors, textures and styles against discrimination. If you believe that you are discriminated against because of your hair or that you have faced discrimination in the past, reach out. This new act can help.

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