What is the CROWN Act in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination |

Racial discrimination is an atrocious fact of life for some people, even though it’s something that shouldn’t ever happen at work. New Jersey has implemented the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act) to help combat a very specific form of discrimination.

This act protects workers from discrimination based on ethnic hairstyle. It covers a variety of concerns, including hair type and texture. It gives employees the right to wear their hair in natural or protective styles.

Protection against discrimination

The CROWN Act prevents employers from setting policies that require employees to change their hair from natural or protective styles to meet the dress code. The ban on hairstyle discrimination should be covered clearly in the employee dress code so there’s no question about how an employer is meeting the requirements of the CROWN Act. This is especially important for African Americans and other people who have ethnic hair.

Enforcement and recourse

Any employee who believes their employer has violated the terms of the CROWN Act can take legal action. There are options available for these employees, regardless of who does the discriminating as long as the employee is performing work-related duties.

When an employee is discriminated against because of their hairstyle or any other reason, they should ensure that they document these incidents because this can become critically important in a case against their employer.

Because these cases can be rather complex, seeking the assistance of someone familiar with the CROWN Act and discrimination laws is generally wise. There are time limits for these cases in New Jersey, so employees should act right away if they’re subjected to any kind of unlawful discrimination.

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