July 2022: Illinois Enacts Law Banning Racial Discrimination Based on Hairstyle or Hair Texture

21 Jul

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Illinois.

What happened?
On July 1, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 3616 (SB 3616), also known as the “CROWN Act,” which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) to expand the definition of “race” for the purposes of combatting unlawful discrimination in Illinois. 

What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2023, the CROWN Act expands the IHRA’s definition of “race” to include “traits associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.”

This new definition means that “unlawful discrimination … against a person because of his or her actual or perceived race” pursuant to the IHRA now includes discrimination based on hair texture or hairstyle.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 3616 (SB 3616)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and may want to consider reviewing their grooming policies and practices to ensure compliance with the CROWN Act.

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