The CROWN Act: What it Means for Texas Racial Discrimination Cases
Texas House Bill 567, known as the CROWN Act, took effect on September 1, 2023. The law provides protections against race-based hair discrimination. Racial discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson, who serves individuals in Allen, TX, Plano, TX, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas, provides an overview of the CROWN Act and what it means for racial discrimination cases in Texas.
Passing of the CROWN ACT
The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, was conceptualized by Adjoa B. Asamoah (co-founder of the CROWN coalition) in 2018. The law was introduced as House Bill 567 by Democratic Representative Rhetta Bowers. As an article in the Texas Tribune explains, the CROWN Act initially stalled during a legislative session in 2021. However, the bill recently passed with overwhelming support and was signed by Governor Greg Abbott in May 2023. Texas is now one of 20 states to sign the CROWN Act into law.
The CROWN Act was inspired by a series of instances involving discrimination based on natural hairstyles. Two notable cases occurred near Houston, where students were threatened with discipline from their schools if they refused to cut their hair.
What Is the CROWN Act?
The CROWN Act is a civil rights law that expands protections against race-based discrimination. The law prohibits any dress code or grooming policies that disproportionately affect people of color by targeting natural hairstyles such as afros, braids, twists, and dreadlocks.
The CROWN Act adds natural hair as a protected characteristic associated with race, making any form of race-based hair discrimination illegal in Texas schools, workplaces, and housing developments. This means it is unlawful for a person to face any type of discrimination (negative consequences) or harassment based on their natural hairstyle.
The CROWN Act and Racial Discrimination Cases
Despite the recent passing of the CROWN Act, discrimination against hair texture and styles still exists. However, victims of hair discrimination now have the opportunity to hold parties accountable for their discriminatory actions.
Dan A. Atkerson works with victims of racial discrimination in the workplace to hold liable employers accountable. Under the CROWN Act, individuals can file a racial discrimination claim if employers consider their natural hairstyle when making decisions regarding:
- Hiring or firing
- Job assignments
- Pay rate
- Training opportunities
- Any other terms of employment
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
We strongly encourage those who suspect they are victims of race-based hair discrimination to work with a knowledgeable racial discrimination lawyer, such as Mr. Atkerson. Racial discrimination cases are often complex because employers attempt to excuse their actions by citing other reasons for their behavior or decisions. Since the CROWN Act is newly adopted, it is vital to work with a lawyer who has a strong understanding of the law and is prepared to fight for maximum compensation for related losses.
Any type of racial discrimination or harassment in the workplace is illegal. If you have experienced race-based hair discrimination, we invite you to schedule a consultation with racial discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson to discuss the details of your case. To get started, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.