Montgomery County CROWN Act bans discrimination based on hairstyle

Montgomery County is now the first county in the nation to ban discrimination based on hairstyle.

Earlier this week, the council passed the measure unanimously.

The CROWN Act – which has been passed in California and New York – gives residents a legal recourse if their hairstyle impacts their employment status, or if they’re denied service because of it.

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Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro said the CROWN Act “seeks to advance racial equity” by defining Protected Hairstyles.

“Denying services or terminating employment based purely on someone choosing to wear braids, locks, afros, curls, or twists would be prohibited under the CROWN Act,” Navarro said via Twitter.

The council stressed that as a “mother of two amazing Afro-Latina daughters” she is familiar with the struggle of living in “a society that puts arbitrary constraints on one of the most personal expressions of culture and ethnicity- a person’s hairstyle.”