Cathy Kelaghan,
March 16, 2021

On March 4, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the CROWN Act into law.  The CROWN Act is also known as the “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” Act and is effective upon passage.

The CROWN Act amends the definition of race to be “inclusive of ethnic traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”  Protective hairstyles is defined in the CROWN Act to include but not be limited to “wigs, headwraps and hairstyles such as individual braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros and afro puffs.” 

Similar legislation already exists in seven other states:  California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, and Maryland.  More than a dozen cities also have CROWN Act statutes.  Twenty-two additional states have proposed similar bills, and some members of U.S. Congress are recommending the CROWN Act become a federal law.

Connecticut employers should ensure that recruiters and managers are aware of this new legislation.  Additionally, employers should review dress codes and anti-discrimination policies, among other policies, for compliance with the CROWN Act.  Stall Legal is available to assist and answer any questions you may have.