California set to become first state to ban natural hair discrimination


Posted on: June 28th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Delmaine Donson/iStock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California is set to be the first state to ban natural hair discrimination in the United States.

On Thursday, California’s state Assembly voted unanimously, 69-0, to pass the new bill.

In April, California’s Senate approved the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) to ban discrimination against people with natural hairstyles in the workplace. State Sen. Holly Mitchell has led the charge on this act, and now it will update the state’s SB-188 discrimination law as it relates to hairstyles.

Mitchell posted the news on Twitter and also announced the bill was on its way to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Our #CROWNS rule. Passed the Assembly today. On its way to @GavinNewsom desk!
California set to be first state to protect black people from natural hair discrimination https://t.co/rpLTBfvQdV

— Holly J Mitchell (@HollyJMitchell) June 27, 2019

Once the bill is signed by Newsom, it will officially become law.

“Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter black applicants and burden or punish black employees than any other group,” the bill states.

In a speech made earlier this year by Mitchell she says, “A Google image search for ‘unprofessional hairstyles’ yielded only pictures of Black women with their natural hair or wearing natural braids or twists.”

She continued, “Although disheartening, not very surprising.”

In February, NYC created guidance that penalizes Black people based on their natural hairstyles.

“Policies that limit the ability to wear natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black people aren’t about ‘neatness’ or ‘professionalism;’ they are about limiting the way Black people move through workplaces, public spaces and other settings,” NYC Human Rights Commissioner and Chair Carmelyn P. Malalis said in a statement.

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