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Did You Know There is An Act for That?

As I continue my journey through the Capstone class for the MJ program at Tulane, I realized that I have learned so much within the first set of 3 modules (with many more modules to work through). I have had the opportunity to search, narrow, or hone in on topics that I wanted to write for my White paper. I soon discovered there was an act for my idea.


Generally, my idea of choosing a topic would be focused on the hiring process and the discrimination that a candidate may face during this phase of the hiring process since this falls closer to what I do on a day-to-day as an Executive Recruiter. When looking up topics, I came across an ad on Google that revealed that Dove had co-funded the CROWN Act. This has brought further curiosity as I spent the next 30 minutes or so reading all about the CROWN Act and what it entails.


I soon learned that the CROWN Act is a law that was based in California and basically prohibits discrimination on hairstyle and hair texture for individuals in the workplace, schools, etc. This act is currently active in 15 states and is working through the Federal process of being passed in all 50 states. This is a fairly new act was initiated by Holly J Mitchell, a California state senator in January 2019.

While conducting research to support this topic for my white paper, I stumbled across an article where this company had actually rescinded the offer letter due to the candidate/new employee refusing to cut her dreadlocks. This claim was brought to the EEOC and the EEOC filed a complaint on behalf of this individual with hopes of bringing a lawsuit against this company for discrimination based on the employee's hair. Unfortunately, the district court dismissed the case and a panel affirmed that the EEOC's complaint did not allege dreadlocks are a characteristic of black individuals. However, the EEOC's theory was that this case is indeed discrimination because dreadlocks are protected under Title VII because they are culturally and physiologically associated with African descent.


This case was interesting to me because this happened in 2017 before the CROWN had passed two years later. I wonder if the EEOC and the employee would have had more of a leg to stand on with this case if the ACT had already passed. I am eager to learn more about similar cases such as this and in relation to the CROWN Act.


Did You Know There is An Act for That? © 2022 by Erika Flory is licensed underCC BY 4.0

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