In recent news, The CROWN Act has been a hot topic throughout the US. The CROWN Act is a new law that will prevent hair discrimination in the workplace, education, and other federal entities. The CROWN Act stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair." And its main goal is to set an impact for all women and men of color to feel comfortable being themselves without fear of any repercussions for doing so in the workplace.
It is imperative for workplaces to implement a set of guidelines for their employers to understand what are the best practices to prevent future litigations on hair discrimination. Here are workplace recommendations that workplaces should implement to prevent future litigations of hair discrimination.
The first step for employers to mitigate hair discrimination is for employers to revamp their dress code policies. Employers must research and approach creating a grooming policy that is inclusive and to be mindful of all ethnicities. HR and employers must understand all races and ethnicities' hair cultures when creating this revamped grooming policy. These leaders must also understand what "Professional" hair looks like across all ethnicities.
Another way that employers can prevent hair discrimination is to train current employees and educate them on what different ethnic group hair looks like. To train them on what dreadlocks or braids look like and how some people add accessories such as seashells or gold cusps.
In addition, it's important to understand how this change in the grooming policy could fully impact all employees and if there will be a disparate impact by imposing the grooming policy. It may be helpful to provide alternative options for employees who are found to be in violation of the policy to prevent future cases of discrimination and to prepare for any employees who may be opposed to the policy.
Lastly, the fourth step for best practices in mitigating hair discrimination in the workplace is to have employers provide company-wide diversity and inclusion training on a person's hair and how it does not have a bearing on the appearance of professionalism.
Implementing the four methodologies above would ensure there is an environment that would be healthy for all employees to feel welcomed and fully comfortable being themselves.
4 Workplace Recommendations to prevent Hair Discrimination. © 2022 by Erika Flory is licensed underCC BY 4.0