Half of U.S. states have passed the CROWN Act to ban hair discrimination

Black and brown people face racial discrimination based on their hair texture at work, school, and beyond, but a growing number of states are passing legislation to protect against hair discrimination. July 3 marks five years since the signing of the inaugural state CROWN (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”) Act. Now, 25 states in total have passed the CROWN Act, with Vermont becoming the latest state to enact the legislation in April. Meanwhile Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) signed an executive order to protect against hair-based discrimination for state government workers and job applicants, which helps build momentum for legislation that would protect everyone. The map below illustrates which states have passed the CROWN Act (D.C. has protections against hair discrimination but not through the CROWN Act).

Figure A

25 states have passed the CROWN Act: CROWN Act status by state

State Passed CROWN Act? Year Passed Passed by legislative action or executive order CROWN key
Alabama No
Alaska Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Arizona Yes 2023 Executive 1
Arkansas Yes 2023 Legislature 1
California Yes 2019 Legislature 1
Colorado Yes 2020 Legislature 1
Connecticut Yes 2021 Legislature 1
Delaware Yes 2019 Legislature 1
Washington D.C.
Florida No
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Indiana No
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky No 2
Louisiana Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Maine Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Maryland Yes 2020 Legislature 1
Massachusetts Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Michigan Yes 2023 Legislature 1
Minnesota Yes 2023 Legislature 1
Mississippi No
Missouri No
Montana No
Nebraska Yes 2021 Legislature 1
Nevada Yes 2021 Legislature 1
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Yes 2019 Legislature 1
New Mexico Yes 2021 Legislature 1
New York Yes 2019 Legislature 1
North Carolina No
North Dakota No
Ohio No
Oklahoma No
Oregon Yes Yes Legislature 1
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No
South Dakota No
Tennessee Yes 2022 Legislature 1
Texas Yes 2023 Legislature 1
Utah No Legislature
Vermont Yes 2024 Legislature 1
Virginia Yes 2020 Legislature 1
Washington Yes 2020 Legislature 1
West Virginia No
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No

Source: EPI analysis of state bills, legislation, and executive orders (AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, KY, IL, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OR, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA).

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While becoming law in 25 states is critically important, the bill still has a long way to go to protect everyone. More than 10 states have considered CROWN Act bills in the past few years but failed to pass them, including Florida, New Hampshire, and Ohio. At the federal level, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) reintroduced the legislation this spring, but neither bill has reached a floor vote this session. 

Policies to combat racism manifested through hair-based discrimination, like the CROWN Act, are still needed. Black and brown students are still being penalized for wearing their natural hair, Black women still earn $18,000 less per year than white men working full-time, and more than 43% of Black women still live in states where they are vulnerable to hair-based discrimination. With state legislative sessions largely winding down, lawmakers in the remaining half of states with no CROWN Act—as well as members of Congress—have one clear piece of unfinished business they should prioritize for the next session: making sure Black and brown people are protected against hair-based discrimination.

Learn more about the CROWN Act here.