Discrimation based on hair has always been a serious issue the global society has been needing to deal with. Hair style represents diversity and cultural trends from all across the world and for that reason, people have been prejudiced against. Although the general trend for discrimnation has significantly went down in comparison to centuries ago, hair discrimination persists on into the 21st century. According to research found by the Crown Act Official Page, “Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair” and “Black women are 80% more likely than white women to agree with this statement”
II. Legislature Introduction
The Crown Act was originally a petitionary campaign that began in 2019. This movement was kindled through social media platforms as well as their official website. The concept behind this movement was simple: “People should not be forced to divest themselves of their racial cultural identity by changing their natural hair in order to adapt to predominantly white spaces in the workplace or in school” (Crown Act Official Page). Eventually, the fire of this movement reached out to government officials who acted and passed this legislation. It was passed on June 27th, 2019 and signed into law on July 3rd of 2019, all sponsored by California State Senator Holly Mitchell.
III. Social Impact, Analysis, and Conclusion
There have been numerous studies done showing that “appearance is linked to success, so no wonder employers want to regulate the appearance of their workers. One’s looks can affect perceived traits such as intelligence, motivation, and overall capability” (JD SUPRA). More importantly though, the amount of confidence and pride one is able to have in their appearance is what allows for true success on a long term. For that reason, discrimination that can exist based on appearence can often hurt and hold back a number of people. Washington, the District of Columbia, has for example passed legislation to prevent personal “based on bodily condition, beards, hair style, personal grooming, and dress” (JD SUPRA). Moreover, “Michigan is an outlier state that has specifically banned employment discrimination on the bases of height or weight. But, until recently, Michigan’s law did not protect someone’s hair” (JD SUPRA).
Many states have hesitated in passing this progressive law as many found it to be too much of a change on both the employee and employer’s part. However, there has been many notable benefits of banning discrimination. As stated as a part of the Alberta Human Rights Act, “There are many benefits to employers for creating a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. The benefits include: a harmonious work environment, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, decreased turnover, an environment of trust, collaboration and cooperation between employees, and increased employee and customer/client satisfaction.” Many people are on their best state of mind when they are in an environment where they can work free from the stress of facing discrimination and it has become evident that passing the CROWN Act would help in utilizing those issues.
Author, Dove. “The CROWN Act: Working to Eradicate Race-Based Discrimination.” Dove US, 19 Nov. 2020, www.dove.com/us/en/stories/campaigns/the-crown-act.html?utm_source=google.
“Benefits.” Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/employment/employer_info/benefits_of_discrimination-free_workplace/Pages/benefits_of_discrimination-free_workplace.aspx.
“The Roots Of The CROWN Act: What Employers Need To Know About Hairstyle Discrimination Law.” JD Supra, www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-roots-of-the-crown-act-what-85819/.
Yancey-Bragg, N'dea. “Florida School Receiving Death Threats after Turning Away 6-Year-Old with Dreadlocks.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 16 Aug. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/08/16/florida-school-faces-backlash-rejecting-6-year-old-dreadlocks/1010132002/.