On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Massachusetts became the 18th state to ban discrimination based on one's natural hairstyles. Then-Governor Charlie Baker affixed his signature to the Massachusetts CROWN Act that day.

The law took effect on October 24, 2022.

The law firm Ogletree Deakins says the law is "An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based On Natural and Protective Hairstyles."

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The firm says, "The Massachusetts Crown Act has its genesis in a 2017 incident in which fifteen-year-old African-American sisters at a Massachusetts charter school were disciplined for wearing braid extensions, a protective hairstyle banned by their school at the time, but now specifically addressed under the protection of this new law."

Ogletree Deakins says, "The Massachusetts CROWN Act expands the definition of 'race' and antidiscrimination definitions under the Massachusetts General Laws to include 'traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to hair texture, hair type, hair length, and protective hairstyles."

"Protective hairstyles" include braids, locks, twists, Bantu knots, hair coverings and "other formations."

The Crown Coalition, The Official Campaign of The Crown Act, says the law prohibits discrimination in schools and workplaces. The Coalition says, "No school district, school committee, public school or nonsectarian school shall adopt or implement a policy or code that impairs or prohibits natural hairstyles."

The Coalition says the law also bans workplace discrimination.

As of May 3, 2024, 24 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 40 municipalities have passed the CROWN Act.

According to the American Bar Association, federal legislation has been passed twice by the U.S. House of Representatives but has stalled in the Senate.

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