CROWN Act: Tucson becomes latest city to pass hair discrimination ban

It is now illegal in Tucson to enforce dress code or grooming policies that discriminate against hair texture and hairstyles in the workplace and public schools, officials said.

The Tucson City Council voted on Feb. 23 to adopt the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN Act, joining multiple cities across the country in passing the ordinance, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The ordinance has been part of a national campaign promoted by Dove, the National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center on Law and Poverty. It also prohibits workplace discrimination based on headdresses worn for cultural or religious reasons.

Sykes cited a study showing that Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair and 80% more likely to feel like they have to change their hair to fit in at work.

"Your hair is your crown and it connects us to our culture and to our ancestry," said Desiree Cook, a licensed hairstylist and founder of the local organization, I AM YOU 360. "So we ask that those crowns are honored, whether it be in schools, in the community or the workplace."

The Tucson ordinance will be enforced through the human relations section of the city code and will apply to any facility or business with public accommodations, officials said. Violations can bring civil penalties.

Continuing Coverage:

Hair discrimination still exists in today’s society. In the last five years, a referee forced a wrestler to cut his locks at a New Jersey match, and children in different states were sent home from school for wearing protective hairstyles, including a little boy in Florida.

Dove study on natural hair and discrimination

Discriminatory incidents happen in the office, too. In 2019, Dove conducted a research study on workplace bias.

It found that Black women were 83% more likely to report being judged harshly on their looks than other women, and Black women were 30% more likely to be made aware of a workplace appearance policy. The study also found Black women were one-and-a-half times more likely to be sent home from the office because of their hair.


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