Did your employer violate the CROWN Act?

If you are a person of color living and working here in New York City, you may have experienced your share of discrimination and microaggressions. However, many overt and covert acts can fall short of the legal standard to take action in a court of law.

But since the signing of the CROWN Act into law in 2019, it has become just a bit harder for employers to discriminate against their employees who choose to wear their hair naturally.

What is the CROWN Act?

The acronym stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and it’s meant to end the discrimination many workers face simply for refusing to contort their natural hair into styles that were never meant for people of color. 

The language is clear. The law states that workers must be permitted to “include traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Some of those protective hairstyles include: 

  • Braids
  • Locs
  • Twists

That list is not all-inclusive and is designed to protect all workers from being forced to contort their natural hair into unnatural styles to maintain their employment.

Before its passage, the numbers were not on the workers’ side, as Black women were 80% more likely to wear styles that conformed to work or other societal expectations. Furthermore, Black women were one-and-one-half times likelier to have been told by their supervisors to go home until they changed their hairstyle.

Is hair discrimination happening at your workplace?

Thanks to the courage and initiatives of many individuals and groups, people of color now have many healthier alternatives to the punishing chemicals in hair straighteners that have been linked to certain cancers.

Don’t get mad; take action! Learn more about how you can fight illegal discrimination here in New York City.

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