Federal CROWN Act passes House of Representatives and awaits Senate votes
On July 26, 2022, the governor of Massachusetts signed into law the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act which bans discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles in workplaces. The law prohibits discrimination based on hair texture or hairstyles associated with race, including, but not limited to, natural and protective hairstyles, such as braids, locks, twists, and Bantu knots. An employee who can prove such discrimination can recover economic and compensatory damages, and punitive, and reasonable attorney's fees.
A federal CROWN Act has passed the House of Representatives, though it has not passed the Senate. If passed by the Senate, President Biden has indicated that he would sign it into law.
Massachusetts is now the 18th state to pass the CROWN Act with more states – and potentially a federal law – on the horizon. It would therefore be prudent for employers all across the country to pay attention and take action.
In the past couple of years, many organizations have reached out to OutSolve and other providers to “help them with diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI). In many cases, what these well-meaning employers are focused on is the diverse representation piece – bringing people of more varied backgrounds, cultures, genders, abilities, etc. into their workforce.
What OutSolve’s DEI Consultant emphasizes—and the passing of the CROWN Act shows—is the necessity to focus on equity and inclusion as well. Expecting that employees’ hairstyles will only fall into a narrow definition of what some people deem “appropriate” or “professional” is neither equitable nor inclusive.
That’s why OutSolve’s MIRROR program assesses the whole of an organization including a review of its policies and practices. Combined with a DEI survey, conversations with employees, and that holistic evaluation, the Consultant can identify a company’s blind spots regarding treating all their employees fairly that may be standing in the way of achieving the diversity they seek.
To find out more information about OutSolve’s DEI services, please contact your consultant or us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.414.2410.