Georgia lawmakers consider bill that would prevent hair discrimination

Bill proposed to prevent hair discrimination
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 1:19 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -A bill being considered this legislative session in the Georgia Capitol would prevent hair discrimination.

“I think people should be able to express themselves. Wear their dreads, wear their curly hair, wear their afros,” said SoNae Ryder, owner of HairJuku.

That’s not always possible with office or school rules.

“I don’t think it’s fair at all and I even have clients who tell me incorporate they have the same color hair that it grows out of their head with. So we never are able to switch it up,” said Ryder.

That’s where the CROWN Act comes in, a bill that would prevent hair discrimination.

“It’s kind of freedom of speech like you’re free to be yourself you want to have highlights or you want to have red hair, you should be able to,” said Ryder.

The CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair. It passed in the house last year but then died, so it’s been reintroduced in the senate this legislative session.

“If you’re getting up and you have two, three kids in the morning and you have to look presentable every day and face people every day, then maybe it’s easier for you to have a protective style,” said Ryder. “If you’re not able to do that, and then you can’t do your job, you know, perfectly, because you’re too stressed about your morning.”

According to a study by the Joy Collective, black women are 80% more likely to feel pressure to change their hairstyles in order to fit in at the office.

“If you’re not happy with your hair, or if, you know, you’ve felt judged about your hair, then you’re not happy with yourself,” said Ryder.

The CROWN Act is currently being considered by the Insurance and Labor Committee.