Employers in Texas should know that Austin has become the first city in Texas to pass the CROWN Act. The passage of this law will have important employment law implications in the state. Our Frisco employment law attorneys can provide you with more information about the CROWN Act, including what it is intended to do and how it can impact employers and businesses in Texas. If you have questions or if you need more information about your legal responsibilities as an employer, it is crucial to seek advice from a lawyer who can ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws.
What is the CROWN Act?
The CROWN Act is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination by employers and in housing, education, and in places of public accommodation. The CROWN portion of the name is an acronym for Creation of a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The CROWN Act is pending in Congress, and as of late 2022, 18 states have adopted the law. In addition, some localities or municipalities have adopted the law, including Austin, Texas.
According to the summary for the federal CROWN Act that is pending before the U.S. Senate, the bill “prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin.” In June 2022, a news release from the City of Austin clarified that the Austin City Council had approved the implementation of the CROWN Act, which amended the City Code to “revise the definition of ‘Discriminatory Employment Practice’ to include ‘Protective Hairstyles.’”
What Employers in Texas Should Know About Protective Hairstyles and the CROWN Act
As the press release explains, as a result of adopting the law, hairstyles are protected that include a “hairstyle necessitated by, or resulting from, the characteristics of a hair texture or hairstyle commonly associated with race, national origin, ethnicity, or culture, and includes but is not limited to afros, Bantu knots, braids, cornrows, curls, locs, twists, or hair that is tightly coiled or tightly curled.”
The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of these protected hairstyles. Said differently, an employer cannot prohibit an Austin employee from wearing one of the above-described protected hairstyles. Currently, the law applies to employers in Austin, Texas and any business locations or employees based there. However, the federal law is pending in Congress. If it is passed, employers throughout Texas will be required to comply with the CROWN Act regardless of whether a city approves the implementation.
Contact a Frisco Employment Attorney
Do you have questions about the CROWN Act or how to remain in compliance as an employer? Our Frisco employment lawyers can assist you with this and any other employment or business law matter. Contact Simon Paschal PLLC for more information.