As an employer, you need to stay abreast of the latest employment law changes. Rather than waiting until laws pass, it pays to keep an eye on current proposals. Whether they become law or not, they indicate strong feelings among some quarters. Taking early action can help you avoid disputes with your employees. It can help create a better workplace environment.
What is hair discrimination?
Late last year, the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act failed to pass in Florida. Similar legislation has already passed in several states, and the legislation is pending in other states.
The bill, where passed, makes hair discrimination illegal. Hair discrimination is, under the CROWN Act, racial discrimination. African-American women have suffered more than most due to hair discrimination.
Hair discrimination is expecting everyone to conform to the same hair standards. It fails to consider that not everyone has the same type of hair or hair texture. What works for one person does not work for another. It is failing to account for cultural differences in how people wear their hair.
The fact that legislators tried to introduce the CROWN Act suggests that some employees feel unhappy. It means they think their employers discriminate against them because of their hair.
While Florida lawmakers rejected the CROWN Act, the matter has not died. Legislators are introducing other proposals in an attempt to deal with the issue. Remember that the law requires you to provide your employees with a safe working environment free of harassment or discrimination. If you update your employee handbook and policies now, it could save you needing to do so later. It could show your employees you take their rights and interests seriously.