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How the Crown Act helps protect you from racism on the job

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2021 | Harassment & discrimination

California has some of the most powerful protections for employees out of any state in the country. There are better overtime protections and more family leave options for people in California than in other states that simply follow federal laws.

California laws protect for workers’ rights in many ways. One of the most innovative and crucial recent employment laws passed in California was the Crown Act. This law helps protect employees from more subtle forms of discrimination that can cost them their job or impact their finances.

The Crown Act prohibits discrimination against natural hairstyles

Throughout the twentieth century, professional dress codes required certain hairstyles. Unfortunately, what many workplaces considered “professional” had a racial bias to it.

Hairstyles that work well with curlier hair, like afros, box braids and cornrows, became prohibited under many workplace dress codes. This meant that workers from various racial backgrounds might need to invest hundreds of dollars in their hair maintenance every month that their coworkers did not need to spend. Those with curly hair had to deal with the expectation that they would straighten it.

If they did not spend the time and money necessary to fight the natural curl of their hair, they could easily lose their jobs or fail to move ahead in their career the way they would if they made the required changes to their appearance. The Crown Act helps protect employees against racial discrimination based on how they style their hair.

Understanding some of the more subtle forms of racial discrimination in the workplace can help you stand up for yourself.