Michigan has followed some other states in providing specific protections for employees and students from discrimination based on their hair type and hairstyles. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act, which is better known as the CROWN Act outlines exactly what’s considered illegal now.
It’s critical that employers and employees know about these protections so they can ensure compliance. The best way to think of this act is that it enables people to have any hair type and use protective styles without having to fear discrimination.
Protection for protective hairstyles
Protective hairstyles are commonly used by Black individuals to promote healthy hair. Locs, braids and twists are three of these styles. The CROWN Act also enables workers to embrace their natural hair without having to use protective styles.
Covers workplaces and educational institutions
The CROWN Act forbids employers and schools from forbidding these styles or using a person’s hairstyle as the basis for decisions related to work or education. For some individuals, the choice to have natural hair comes down to a health issue, which makes this act even more important. No student or employee should have to subject themselves to harsh chemicals for school or work.
Complaints can’t lead to retaliation
Any worker who believes their employer is violating the CROWN Act can file complaints without fear of retaliation. It’s illegal for employers to retaliate against employees through negative employment actions as long as the complaint is factual.
Discrimination for any protected status, including racial or ethnic traits, is illegal. Anyone who’s being subjected to discrimination or harassment based on those factors may opt to pursue legal options.