When looking through employee guidelines, it is common to find information about what kind of hairstyles are permitted in the workplace. Long have employees been told to change their natural hair to fit a specific mold. In California, natural hair discrimination is no longer allowed.
In early July, the Governor signed a piece of legislation into law that is simply called the Crown Act. This has made the state the first in the country to make discrimination over natural hairstyles illegal. Other states are looking to follow suit.
So, who does the Crown Act help? It is meant to protect anyone with difficult-to-manage hair. It allows such individuals to style their hair how they see fit rather than having to go to extremes to meet workplace standards. The bill specifically states it is meant to protect people of color who have been punished for showing up to work with what their employers deemed as inappropriate hairstyles, or who have been denied employment for the same reason. In some respects, it expands on the definition of racial discrimination.
Wanting employees to look professional and presentable is understandable. Making an employee change his or her natural hair to meet one's expectations is no longer allowed. California residents who feel that they are victims of natural hairstyle-related discrimination no longer have to take it. The law is on their side. If one's employer refuses to accept and implement this new law as the standard in the workplace, it may be possible to take legal action in an effort to seek compensation for any losses resulting from this type of discrimination.