FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2023
PHRC supports passage of the CROWN Act
Recently passed its own regulations protecting hairstyles
Harrisburg, PA- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) was pleased to see the Pennsylvania House pass the CROWN Act. The CROWN Act would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to prohibit discrimination based on hair texture or style. CROWN stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.
"The commission applauds the state House for passing this important legislation and we will continue to monitor its progression," said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "The commission would like all Pennsylvanians to know, regardless of what happens with this specific legislation, the PHRC recently implemented new regulations prohibiting hair discrimination. Pennsylvanians should rest assured knowing that the PHRC will not tolerate any form of discrimination."
In June, the PHRC announced new regulations, expanding the definition of 'race' to include traits associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. Disallowing discrimination based on one's race, to include hair texture and protective hairstyles, does not infringe on employers' right to implement safety standards in the workplace. The regulations were printed in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will become effective within 60 days, on August 16.
"We want Pennsylvanians to know that we support the CROWN Act and look forward to seeing what will happen next with it," said M. Joel Bolstein, PHRC Chair. "The PHRC recognizes the seriousness of this form of discrimination, which is why we worked hard on new regulations prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyle and texture."
The CROWN Act now sits with the state Senate where, if passed, it will then move to the Governor for signature.
The PHRC, the state's leading civil rights enforcement agency, urges anyone who has experienced acts of discrimination or hate to file a complaint with the PHRC by calling 717-787-4410. Information and resources are also available at www.PHRC.pa.gov.