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Tennessee bill seeks to prevent discrimination based on a person’s hairstyle

The bill, called the CROWN Act, would amend Tennessee human rights laws to protect people from being discriminated against because of their hairstyle.

A bill has advanced in the Tennessee Senate that would protect people from being discriminated against based on their hairstyle.

On Jan. 24, Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced Senate Bill 1832, or the ‘Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act of 2020.’ It would amend the Tennessee Human Rights Act to prevent hairstyle discrimination.

On Wednesday, the bill advanced in the state Senate on second consideration and was referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. 

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The CROWN Act would amend state law to include language about ‘protective hairstyles,’ which would include but not be limited to braids, dreadlocks and twists.

It would also add language to the subsection on race, which would include ‘physical and cultural characteristics associated with a certain race’ — including hair texture and protective hairstyles.

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If passed, the protections would take effect on July 1, 2020.

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