ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 1394 would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to expand the definition of “race” to include traits associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. Protective hairstyles include, but are not limited to, such hairstyles locs, braids, twists, coils, Bantu knots, afros and extensions. CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.
According to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission's 2022 annual report, there were a total of 916 cases for complaints filed alleging racial discrimination based on hair texture and protective hairstyles historically associated with race. HB 1394 would not prohibit an employer from adopting or enforcing an otherwise valid workplace health and safety rule or policy provided the employer demonstrates all of the following:
- Without the adoption of the rule or policy, it is reasonably certain that the health or safety of an employee or other materially connected person will be impaired;
- The rule or policy is adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons;
- The rule or policy is applied equally and does not have a disproportionate adverse impact on a group of individuals based on traits associated with race; and
- The rule or policy is specifically tailored to the applicable position and activity.
Check the bill's status here.