This month Connecticut became the 8th state to ban discrimination on the basis of traits historically associated with race, including natural hairstyles. To find out more about the law and how it affects employers, continue reading below.

Connecticut CROWN Act Bans Natural Hair Discrimination

On March 10, 2021 Governor Ned Lamont signed into law House Bill No. 6515, an act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair, known as the CROWN Act.

Connecticut joins seven other states by passing The CROWN Act into law, which include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • Washington

What is The CROWN Act?

The CROWN Act was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure the protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection in the workplace and public schools.

The CROWN Act amends Connecticut anti-discrimination statutes to define “race” as being “inclusive of ethnic traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

What are considered “Protective Hairstyles” under the CROWN Act?

Protective hairstyles are defined in the Connecticut CROWN Act as wigs, head-wraps, individual braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros and afro puffs.

How The CROWN Act Affects Connecticut Employers

While employers may enforce dress codes and grooming policies, employers should thoroughly review their policies to ensure they do not restrict or prohibit protected hairstyles or traits historically associated with race.

In addition, Connecticut employers must ensure that they are not penalizing employees based on protected hairstyles or traits historically associated with race.

As a result, employers should train managers and supervisors on this law and The CROWN Act.

By Jane I. Milas, Garcia & Milas Managing Director 

Employment and Labor Law Attorneys in Connecticut

For help navigating The CROWN Act and how it affects your business, the employment and labor law attorneys at Garcia & Milas are ready to assist employers when making an assessment.

Garcia & Milas Law Firm has seasoned Business, Labor Employment Law Attorneys in New Haven, Connecticut and surrounding areas. We advise and represent clients in a variety of business employment contexts.

Garcia & Milas practices before administrative tribunals and in state and federal courts. Learn more about our Labor and Employment Law Practice.

Jane Milas Attorney New Haven, CT

Jane Milas

Managing Director

Jane I. Milas is the Managing Director of Garcia & Milas Law Firm located in New Haven, CT. She regularly advises employers on labor and employment issues impacting their businesses, as well as assists them in complying with federal, state, and local labor and employment laws. Ms. Milas has been ranked as a New England Super Lawyer for 10 years.

This publication is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

Jane Milas

Jane Milas

Jane I. Milas is the Managing Director of Garcia & Milas Law Firm located in New Haven, CT. She regularly advises employers on employment issues impacting their businesses, as well as assists them in complying with federal, state, and local labor and employment laws. Ms. Milas has been ranked as a New England Super Lawyer for 10 years.

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