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Akron City Council passes legislation that makes hair discrimination illegal

On humid days, hair can become frizzy in what seems like an instant thanks to hydrogen.
On humid days, hair can become frizzy in what seems like an instant thanks to hydrogen.(Pexels)
Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 6:36 AM EST
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Akron City Council unanimously passed legislation Monday that makes it illegal to discriminate against somebody based on their hair.

Akron joins seven states and other local jurisdictions, including the city of Cincinnati, in passing a Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act.

The act serves mainly to protect Black people against workplace dress codes that deem their natural hair unprofessional.

The legislation claims that “hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals.”

“This is yet another step in making sure ALL people have the same equal protections and are exempt from discrimination here in the City of Akron,” Councilwoman Tara L. Mosley Samples, who introduced the CROWN Act to the council along with Councilman Rich Swirsky, said.

In March, Ohio state Reps. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) introduced similar legislation that would ban hair discrimination in schools.

CROWN Acts are in place in California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington and Maryland.

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