Colorado could join a growing list of states with a “Crown Act,” legislation that protects against discrimination based on hairstyle.
“It should no longer be acceptable that dress codes include things like not having dreadlocks or Native American men not having long hair,” said state Rep. Leslie Herod, a Denver Democrat who is sponsoring the legislation. “Schools need to protect our young people and educational professionals against bullying or termination based on hairstyle.”
The proposal would make explicit that discrimination against “traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles,” such as braids, locks, or twists, is a form of racial discrimination. The legislation would protect workers on the job and students in school.
In just the past year, California, New York, and New Jersey have passed laws banning discrimination based on hairstyles or textures that are commonly associated with a person’s race or nationality. Some cities and counties have issued their own protections, and at least 13 states are considering legislation this year.
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