On March 18, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”) which bans hairstyle discrimination in employment, public accommodations, federally assisted programs and housing programs. The act bans discrimination against braids, dreadlocks, curls and the like. Advocates of the bill say a split in federal appellate courts requires clarification provided by the terms of the legislation. The Biden administration has signaled that it strongly supports the act. Senate republicans have signaled objections to the bill, arguing that it is unnecessary because federal law already provides protection for the types of discrimination the bill is designed to eliminate. Thus, the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Several states and municipalities already have enacted similar types of statutes and ordinances.
If you have questions about this or other labor and employment issues, please contact Doug Schnee or another of the Frantz Ward Labor & Employment Group.