Colorado Hair Discrimination Law

House Bill HB20-1048, Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on March 6, 2020.

This act concerns a prohibition against discrimination based on a person’s traits that are commonly or historically associated with race, specifically hair texture, type, and style. Styles include, tightly coiled or tightly curled or worn in locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, Afros, or headscarves. The new law adds race trait hairstyle to the current state anti-discrimination statutes. Discrimination is be prohibited in the workplace, in schools, and in any other decisions, practices and policies that could result in race-based discrimination, presumably such as housing. The law goes into effect August of 2020.

Colorado joins California, New Jersey, and New York in adding CROWN considerations to its discrimination statutes. Arizona, Wyoming, and Utah do not currently have similar laws; however, other states are expected to follow. Employers in Colorado will want to look at any anti-discrimination and appearance or dress code policies to ensure compliance.