The CROWN Act Expands the Definition of "Race" in the Illinois Human Rights Act to Prohibit Discrimination Based on An Employee's Hair


On June 30, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed the CROWN Act into law. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2023.

“CROWN” is an acronym for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The CROWN Act creates a new definition of “race” under the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”), to include “traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair, texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.”

In light of this amendment to the IHRA, employers should review and be mindful of their dress code and appearance policies to ensure compliance with the CROWN Act.

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