California was the first state to ban natural hair discrimination in the U.S. and The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) officially went into effect in the state on New Year’s Day.
In July the bill was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom following a 69-0 unanimous vote by the state Assembly. The bill states, “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.”
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 like braids, locks and twists.
Mitchell said in a speech earlier this year said: “A Google image search for ‘unprofessional hairstyles’ yielded only pictures of Black women with their natural hair or wearing natural braids or twists.”