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Half of the US states have passed the CROWN Act to ban discrimination based on hair

Half of the US states have passed the CROWN Act to ban discrimination based on hair

Half of US states have passed the CROWN Act to ban hair discrimination

Black and brown people face racial discrimination at work, school and beyond based on their hair texture, but more states are passing legislation to protect them from hair discrimination. July 3 marks the five-year anniversary of the signing of the first CROWN Act (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”). Now, a total of 25 states have passed the CROWN Act, with Vermont being the latest state to pass the legislation in April. Meanwhile, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) signed an executive order to protect state government employees and job applicants from hair discrimination, helping to build momentum for legislation that would protect everyone. The map below illustrates which states have passed the CROWN Act (DC has hair discrimination protections, but not through the CROWN Act).

25 states have passed the CROWN Act: CROWN Act Status by State

Stands Has the CROWN Act been passed? Year passed Adopted by legislative action or executive order CROWN key
Alabama No
Alaska Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Arizona Yes 2023 Managerial 1
Arkansas Yes 2023 Legislative power 1
California Yes 2019 Legislative power 1
Colorado Yes 2020 Legislative power 1
Connecticut Yes 2021 Legislature 1
Delaware Yes 2019 Legislature 1
Washington DC
Florida No
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois Yes 2022 Legislative power 1
Indiana No
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky No 2
Louisiana Yes 2022 Legislative power 1
Maine Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Maryland Yes 2020 Legislature 1
Massachusetts Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Michigan Yes 2023 Legislative power 1
Minnesota Yes 2023 Legislative power 1
Mississippi No
Missouri No
Montana No
Nebraska Yes 2021 Legislative power 1
Nevada Yes 2021 Legislative power 1
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Yes 2019 Legislature 1
New Mexico Yes 2021 Legislative power 1
New York Yes 2019 Legislature 1
North Carolina No
North Dakota No
Ohio No
Oklahoma No
Oregon Yes Yes Legislature 1
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
south carolina No
South Dakota No
Tennessee Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Texas Yes 2023 Legislature 1
Utah No Legislative power
Vermont Yes 2024 Legislative power 1
Virginia Yes 2020 Legislative power 1
Washington Yes 2020 Legislative power 1
West Virginia No
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No

Source: EPI analysis of state bills, legislation, and executive orders (AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, KY, IL, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OR, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA).

While it is critical to become law in 25 states, the bill still has a long way to go to protect everyone. More than a dozen states have considered but not passed CROWN Act bills in recent years, including Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio. At the federal level, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (DN.J.) and Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.) reintroduced the legislation this spring, but neither bill reached a basic vote this session.

Policies to combat racism manifested through hair-based discrimination, like the CROWN Act, are still needed. Black and brown students are still penalized for wearing their natural hair, Black women still earn $18,000 less per year than white men who work full-time, and more than 43% of Black women still live in states where they are vulnerable to hair-based discrimination. As state legislative sessions largely draw to a close, lawmakers in the remaining half of states without the CROWN Act—as well as members of Congress—have one clear piece of unfinished business they must prioritize for the next session: ensuring that Black and brown people are protected from hair-based discrimination.