Minnesota’s CROWN Act Prohibits Discrimination Based on Hair Texture and Styles
Minnesota’s recent passage of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act marks a major victory for anti-discrimination and equality efforts in the workplace. The CROWN Act expands the protections of the Minnesota Human Rights Act to explicitly include hair texture and styles (such as braids, locs, and twists) as protected characteristics.
The CROWN Act has far-reaching implications for both employers and employees. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on their hair texture or protected style. For example, an employee cannot be denied employment, promotion, or other benefits because of their hair. Employers must review and revise internal policies, including dress and grooming codes, to ensure compliance with the CROWN Act. Additionally, employers should provide training to managers and supervisors on these policies and take immediate action to address any complaints of discrimination or harassment related to hair.
Employees who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in violation of the CROWN Act can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or bring a private lawsuit against their employer. If successful, an employee may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees. The Minnesota Human Rights Department issued a fact sheet outlining the requirements of the CROWN Act, which is available here.
Parker Daniels Kibort has one of the top labor and employment practices in the State of Minnesota. For more information on this topic or for help with related inquires, contact the Parker Daniels Kibort labor and employment team at 612.355.4100.