SB 188, also referred to as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2020. The new bill signed into law on July 3, 2019 seeks to protect employees and students from discrimination based on natural hair and protective hairstyles by clarifying the definition of race for the workplace and educational institutions. It further addresses workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks which could negatively affect and unfairly target African Americans. The new law makes it clear that employers can maintain certain dress and grooming policies, especially when safety and hygiene are concerned, but the policies have to be “valid and non-discriminating” and not have a “disparate impact.”
If you suspect you’ve been discriminated in the workforce, call the employment Law Offices of Garry M. Tetalman today at (805) 879-7518.