(NPR) — The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) heads to California Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.
New York and New Jersey have proposed similar legislation.
The bill says that workplace dress codes and grooming policies that ban Afros, braids and other hairstyles burden or punish black employees more than any other group.
The measure, referred to as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), passed Thursday in the state Senate, 69 to 0.
“While we got no No votes, there were some people who chose to abstain,” Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, told NPR. She added, “I have no idea why they abstained.”
Mitchell says she has received numerous letters from distraught constituents. “The sheer volume of women and men and parents of students who have been sent home because someone deems their braids, twists or locks were inappropriate for workplace settings, the sheer volume of people, suggests this clearly is a law whose time has come,” Mitchell said (while she was getting her hair groomed).