Governor Lamont Signs Off on CROWN Act

NBC Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont has signed the CROWN Act, a bill aimed at stopping discrimination in the workplace and schools against natural hairstyles.

The CROWN Act, short for an Act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, seeks to end hair discrimination often experienced by Black women for their natural and protective hairstyles.

Rep. Robyn Porter (D-New Haven), a sponsor of the bill, told NBC Connecticut that Black people may be judged, reprimanded and passed over for promotion or even fired based on their hair.

"The way Black women, men, and children choose to wear their hair has absolutely no bearing on our abilities to perform professionally, academically, or otherwise," she wrote in a Facebook post discussing the legislation.

A Dove study found 80% of women reported they changed their hair from its natural state to fit into the corporate environment.

Last year was the first year the legislation was raised and it passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee 11 to 3 but the session was cut short due to COVID-19, so it never made it to the House for a vote. 

This time, the bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support before the governor signed it into law.

Connecticut joins the likes of California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado and Washington, who have all banned discrimination based on hairstyles like braids, locks, bantu twists, weaves, and wigs.

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