State rep. introduces legislation to prohibit discrimination based on hair style, texture

State Rep. Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) recently introduced legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on hair style and hair texture in Georgia.

The legislation will be known as the CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

“During this legislative session, we are working to enact the CROWN Act in Georgia,” said Rep. Schofield. “The Official Code of Georgia does not currently provide protection against discrimination for persons based on race as a protected class. Similar to other CROWN Acts that have been introduced and passed around the country, we are seeking to provide race-based protections against discrimination in the employment, housing and education sectors.”

The CROWN Act would update the Georgia Fair Employment and Housing Act and other current laws regarding education to help ensure protection against hair discrimination in the workplace and in K-12 schools. Rep. Schofield’s legislation is a companion bill to Senate Bill 286, which is sponsored by state Sens. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia) and Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta).

In 2019, legislation to prohibit discrimination against hair styles and textures was first enacted in California, and other states have followed suit to pass similar legislation. Additionally, in December 2019, similar legislation was introduced in the both chambers of the U.S. Congress.