Hair-Based Discrimination Is Now Illegal In 12 States

Lead Photo: Photo by F.J. Jimenez / Getty Images
Photo by F.J. Jimenez / Getty Images
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The Crown Act, a bill that makes hair-based discrimination illegal, is now officially law in a dozen states. Nevada is reportedly the latest state to pass the bill. The legislation was fueled by the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Day) Coalition.

The was a victory celebrated on the CROWN Acts social media on Sunday. “Victory! … We are one step closer to ending race-based #hairdiscrimination nationwide!” they wrote.

According to a study commissioned by the CROWN Coalition and sponsored by Dove, black women are far more likely to suffer from workplace bias when it comes to their natural hair. Of the 1,000 Black women surveyed, 80% said they had to change their hair from its natural state to fit in at the office. Other key findings were that Black women reported feeling their hair is targeted in the workplace, and that they’re constantly being rated as “less ready” for job performance.

The important legislation gained a lot of steam recently when the subject was the main news story in early May on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

“Another study found that Black women with natural hair styles were perceived to be less professional, less competent, and less likely to be recommended for a job interview,” Oliver told his national audience. The late night host referenced a Social Psychological and Personality Science study on the subject throughout the piece.

As for the Crown Act on a national level, the bill had early success. It passed the House of Representatives last year only to stumble and eventually stall in the Senate. Instead, success was found when the bill was taken to individual states. Nevada joins other states including Nebraska, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, Washington, Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut in passing their own versions of the bill.