Broward County Commission Bans Hair Discrimination; Shows Support for CROWN Act

On Tuesday, Broward County commissioners unanimously agreed to pass a ban on racially-based hair discrimination, showing support for the CROWN Act.

The CROWN Act was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.

The ban forces employers and school administrators to reconsider rules restricting hairstyles unless the restrictions are related to legitimate health and safety issues.

Jamaican-American Commissioner Dale Holness introduced the legislation and said discrimination based on African American hairstyles happens frequently.

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid shared her support of his ordinance of the Crown Act. “It’s really important that states and localities pass versions of the CROWN Act so that there isn’t that kind of discrimination. That way you can have a wide variety of talent that can be part of every workplace or where they live so people don’t feel discriminated for something that is truly embedded in who we are as Black people”, she said in a video statement.

Reid shared that as a college graduate living in New York years ago, she was often refused work because her employers did not believe that braids were “an appropriate hairstyle for work”, and at that time, it was “perfectly legal.”

At the state level, a Florida Senate bill died in the judiciary in March. There is more hope at the federal level. The House passed a bill on Sept. 21, which is now awaiting review by the Senate.

California, New York, New Jersey, Washington State, Colorado, Maryland and Virginia have also passed similar bans.

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